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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Thirteen singing dwarves and a very funny Hobbit

News from Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Feb 10 2011, 7:17pm


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Thirteen singing dwarves and a very funny Hobbit Can't Post

"Fourteen individuals - and an ensemble."

Today's press conference opened with an apology from Peter Jackson, who said he couldn't be there as he was "under a form of medical house arrest" since being hospitalised with a perforated ulcer last week.

"And to be honest, perhaps it's just as well. These guys make me laugh so hard that I'd be in danger of popping a stitch or something," Jackson continued in his statement.

Confirming the truth of that, the cast of 13 dwarves and one hobbit kept up a constant flow of quips and wisecracks throughout the whole press conference. We knew Martin Freeman was funny with a good script - well, he's hilarious without one as well.

Many fans have been wondering whether 13 dwarves would become a generic mass in the film, or whether they would be fleshed out in the script to have individual personalities.

Dwarf actors William Kirchner and Peter Hambleton spoke on that: "We are thirteen distinct and strong personalities - but we are an ensemble as well".

Speaking of ensemble, the dwarves confirmed they'd be doing their own singing. "It's all staying very close to the book - yes, there WILL be singing."

The dwarves apparently all look very different. Aidan Turner, or Fili, said that they were still experimenting with different amounts of facial hair to define their look. "Facial hair is under review - hence the different beards we've got today!" Jed Brophy, or Nori, (who played numerous highly- prostheticised characters in LOTR) said that yes, he [and we presume the others] would be recognisable. "I'm so happy to be me. And I hope to get through this film without dying. Horribly."

As we saw before in LOTR, the script apparently offers each dwarf a chance to be highly individual, but furthermore, PJ, Fran and Philippa were alert to the quirks and strengths of each actor that became evident as they rehearsed together. So in that sense, the script - and its impact on the characters - is fluid.

Seeing the humour, camaraderie and respect between the actors already, I felt very positive that once again the film makers have picked a group whose synergy will power the appeal of the movie.

"It's a great bunch of guys," said Hambleton. "We feel like a bunch of mates already."

"We're all strong personalities, but we're all equal and we get on well together."

The cast said that far from being downcast about the delays in filming, they were appreciating having even more time to bond with each other. (There were a lot of jokes about dwarf bonding/bondage). "We don't have to wear as much latex for these roles...but we can still enjoy some on the weekends."

The team have been training hard in the four or five weeks since they arrived - going to the gym, learning some stunt moves, getting dialogue coaching. (Didn't get to ask what dialect - a question for another day!)

The Kiwi actors talked about meeting and working with international stars like Martin Freeman, Ken Stott or James Nesbitt. Mark Hadlow (Dori): "It's an amazing experience as a theatre actor, when you've been an admirer for years, as I have been, of Ken Stott's work on stage and screen; to meet with him and get to talk about all the things that we share, has been extraordinary."

The visiting actors paid tribute to the Kiwi's talent as well. "Look at Jed here, he's done it before and he's been everything in the [LOTR] movies!"

John Callen (Oin) said it wasn't just the cast who got on well. "When we're together, we're a group. We're "as one". But it's not just us. The crew work "as one" too. I've met hundreds of people working on this movie, and I have not met one tosser. Except Mark Hadlow," he joked.

The cast have met their scale doubles briefly ("What a great bunch of guys") and will be working closely with them later. The scale doubles are doing their own gruelling schedule of gym, fight and stunt training alongside the cast.

During the press conference I took note of who took a leadership role or spoke the most, since I suspect that will be a good indicator of how they act on screen.

William Kircher and James Nesbitt - Bifur and Bofur - spoke a lot and also bounced off each other like a naturally comic team. They're very funny. Nesbitt went to the rubgy Sevens ( a sort of sports carnival we have in Wellington, with lots of costumes) dressed as a chicken. "I was in the corporate box and I was the only one in costume. People were talking to me obviously thinking "he's supposed to be somebody [important] ...but...he's a chicken." Why a chicken? "It just felt right."

Rob Kazinsky - Fili - also took charge of a lot of the answers, with well-thought-out responses. He was sitting next to Aidan Turner, or Kili, who was also very charismatic "take charge", as well as funny. They're both good-looking guys and I imagine we could expect to see a lot of them on screen.

John Callen (Oin) said a few things. He had the air of a wise elder statesman, undercut by a strong vein of very dry, sly humour bubbling just underneath.

Richard Armitage (Thorin) spoke surprisingly little, but when he did he had a notably deep voice, exactly right for Thorin, and real gravitas. He walked into the conference with a kind of testosterone charged lope. I don't think he'll have any trouble holding the audience's attention.

Martin Freeman (Bilbo) was simply hilarious. He spoke a little more seriously about how he had spent time watching Ian Holm's performances as Bilbo. "Of course I've been looking at what he's been doing...I need to look at it and then forget it, in a sense, though. I look at what he does with his voice and movement...Without trying to blow my own trumpet nor with too much false modesty, I think I'm quite a good match for him. I have to try to echo and give a nod to what he's done, but still be me."

Freeman spoke highly of PJ. "For somebody who is as rich as Croesus and has that many Oscars, he's phenomenally normal. And I mean genuinely normal, as opposed to those people that play at being hip or cool or ostentatiously normal, sort of "look here's me being normal and having a normal cup of tea". No, PJ is a practitioner, not a star. I get the feeling that if you were to have known him when he was twelve, he's basically the same person now - an enthusiast.

"There's no tossers on this production - and you certainly don't want one at the top."

Nesbitt (Bofur) commented that PJ, Fran and Philippa, the writing team, were exceptionally clear and could articulate what they wanted. "But very importantly, they're great listeners and take on board what you have to offer."

Asked how they were preparing for megastardom and crazy fan hysteria, Freeman and the rest said that it was all theoretical at this point. "We've got to be good first!"

On the strength of this press conference, I think we're going to see some memorable performances from a cast that is bound to become highly popular.

Questions were mostly confined to things the cast themselves would be concerned with, so we didn't get into details some fans have been asking, such as the impact of Del Toro's departure, or whether casting for Smaug was imminent.

(This post was edited by Altaira on Feb 11 2011, 1:27pm)

Subject User Time
Thirteen singing dwarves and a very funny Hobbit News from Bree Send a private message to News from Bree Feb 10 2011, 7:17pm
    Wow Maiarmike Send a private message to Maiarmike Feb 11 2011, 12:43am
        Yes, singing Oiotįri Send a private message to Oiotįri Feb 11 2011, 1:00am
            I third this! // Vellamo Send a private message to Vellamo Feb 11 2011, 2:06am
            Yes, its great, but... AlatarVinyamar Send a private message to AlatarVinyamar Feb 11 2011, 9:17am
                I'd like to hear them singing! maut Send a private message to maut Feb 11 2011, 10:27am
                    I wonder if they will 'handle' the musical intruments as well. silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 11 2011, 9:34pm
                        They indeed COULD put up a nice little dwarf jam session Vellamo Send a private message to Vellamo Feb 12 2011, 12:50am
                            Knowing Peter and the gang silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 12 2011, 3:37am
                                Tossers phredegar Send a private message to phredegar Feb 19 2011, 12:16pm
                            Armitage as a musician dclare Send a private message to dclare Feb 13 2011, 2:08am
                    Yes! Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Feb 13 2011, 2:26am
                        the songs were sung in the BBC radio drama and in the Rankin Bass cartoon Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Feb 13 2011, 2:49am
                            Thanks! Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Feb 13 2011, 3:00am
                                There were a couple of Flanders and Swann fans in our singing community Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Feb 13 2011, 5:23am
                            Inglis either sang or chanted all the songs in TH and LOTR. RosieLass Send a private message to RosieLass Feb 13 2011, 6:03pm
                                well... Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Feb 13 2011, 6:29pm
        Me, too!!!! RosieLass Send a private message to RosieLass Feb 11 2011, 3:08am
        I did not really want singing Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Feb 11 2011, 5:45pm
    excellent reporting! Witchy King Send a private message to Witchy King Feb 11 2011, 12:50am
    Thanks Tehanu, for writing such a detailed report! Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Feb 11 2011, 1:00am
    What a great article! Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Feb 11 2011, 1:09am
        Maybe the Rivendell elves Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Feb 11 2011, 7:52am
    Great report! Voronwė_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwė_the_Faithful Feb 11 2011, 1:15am
    This article... duats Send a private message to duats Feb 11 2011, 1:45am
        Full of win and awesome! // RosieLass Send a private message to RosieLass Feb 11 2011, 3:09am
        Thanks for the kind words, all of you! Tehanu Send a private message to Tehanu Feb 11 2011, 8:20am
            No, thank you! Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Feb 11 2011, 8:28am
                Seconds this! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 11 2011, 11:17am
                I also agree! grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 12 2011, 2:36am
            'EXTRA! EXTRA! Tehanu grabs jist in a contemplative narrative silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 11 2011, 8:46am
                13 dwarves! silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 11 2011, 9:38am
            Heartily agree! Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Feb 11 2011, 5:30pm
            TORn seemed to get a shout out Garfeimao Send a private message to Garfeimao Feb 11 2011, 8:41pm
                Yes, they did! Tehanu Send a private message to Tehanu Feb 11 2011, 9:34pm
                    Tehanu, Representative of the Internet? A lofty title! Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Feb 11 2011, 10:27pm
                        It is to be expected *giggle* silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 11 2011, 10:51pm
    Now I feel it moving forward towards December 2012! Ruijor Send a private message to Ruijor Feb 11 2011, 2:35am
    Great article and great news about the singing! Owain Send a private message to Owain Feb 11 2011, 3:38am
    Squee!// Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Feb 11 2011, 3:44am
    "testosterone charged lope" Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Feb 11 2011, 4:58am
        Unfortunately Oiotįri Send a private message to Oiotįri Feb 11 2011, 6:44pm
            no, we didn't get to see it. Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Feb 11 2011, 8:36pm
                There were some great phrases in there Oiotįri Send a private message to Oiotįri Feb 11 2011, 8:43pm
        *fit of giggles* Alassėa Eruvande Send a private message to Alassėa Eruvande Feb 11 2011, 7:14pm
            you know it's in your head Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Feb 11 2011, 8:35pm
        I know that i received my most substantial jolt (THUMP) silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 11 2011, 10:06pm
    Thanks for the report. The Grey Pilgrim Send a private message to The Grey Pilgrim Feb 11 2011, 5:19am
    There will be song! AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Feb 11 2011, 6:14am
        I feel it adds a more folksie/folklore feel to it all. silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Feb 11 2011, 10:42pm
    One think I noticed from the tv clip macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Feb 11 2011, 6:31am
        Before the delay duats Send a private message to duats Feb 11 2011, 7:12am
        The Dwarves & Bilbo are bonding together like the 4 Hobbits! Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Feb 11 2011, 7:54am
            Aren't they, though? Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Feb 11 2011, 5:31pm
        Mmmm... no they don't sound alike.// Owain Send a private message to Owain Feb 11 2011, 7:09pm
        They are both from the same region Garfeimao Send a private message to Garfeimao Feb 11 2011, 8:38pm
    Richard Armitage talking little Faenoriel Send a private message to Faenoriel Feb 11 2011, 7:47am
        Armitage LoremIpsum Send a private message to LoremIpsum Feb 11 2011, 10:32am
    Thank you!!! Rosie-with-the-ribbons Send a private message to Rosie-with-the-ribbons Feb 11 2011, 7:55am
    Great! Endor Dweller Send a private message to Endor Dweller Feb 11 2011, 1:05pm
    *still in spasm mode* grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 11 2011, 5:40pm
    I liked this carrioncrow Send a private message to carrioncrow Feb 13 2011, 12:24am

 
 
 

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