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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Exclusive: Hobbit's Conan Stevens chats with TORn

News From Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Apr 22 2012, 9:06am

Post #1 of 20 (2315 views)
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Exclusive: Hobbit's Conan Stevens chats with TORn Can't Post

Conan Stevens is an Australian actor and stuntman. After recent work on "A Game of Thrones," the magic of the internet created a connection between TheOneRing.net and Stevens (cast as Bolg in the two-part adaptation of "The Hobbit,") leading to the following interview. Currently TORn is embedded in the production, but that event and this interview are not related.

TheOneRing.net: Update us on everything you have going on at the moment.

Conan Stevens: Compared to the the 24 months prior, last year was a good year for me. To start with I managed to get onto "The Hobbit," which is a story in itself. I missed the main round of auditions but managed to get a foot in the door at the last second - just as I came down with dysentery. So that was a combination of luck, tenacity and 25 years of preparation/wasting time with RPG's the SCA, Martial Arts, Pro Wrestling, etc.

The afternoon that Peter announced on his Facebook page that I was to be in "The Hobbit" I called a casting agency that handled the"Spartacus" TV series auditions in Wellington, and it turns out the timing was again in my favour (well it has to be sometimes, considering the last two times I'd tried to make contact the timing was wrong) and I was able to audition for a Germanic character named Sedullus - and that the filming was during hiatus between the first and second block of filming "The Hobbit." Perfect! Except the bit about 90% of my lines being in German, which I can't speak.

You can see the outcome of that in "Spartacus: Vengeance - Sacramentum - Episode 207" which aired on Starz in the US 2 weeks ago. (Editor's note: A little longer since this was written)

I also managed to zip over to Malaysia in Nov/Dec to film in "Vikingdom," starring Dominic Purcell, who was a great mentor for me. Surprisingly, yet again, I was cast as the bad guy. I played the nemesis of the movie - Thor the Nordic God of Thunder, described to me by one of the Producers as an angry, pissed off God.

Vikingdom is currently in post production getting the heavy CGI treatment, so I have no idea of the proposed release date.

Besides that I am writing a new movie script, my fourth to date, my working draft will be done this week and I will be pushing to film this year whether I pull some friends together again or more hopefully sell it. It'll be a holiday romance story that, like Bangkok Adrenaline, came up as a bit of a joke between a couple of actors chatting after work one day.

Writing keeps my mind occupied during the down time in my acting career. Even when I am working there are times when I have multiple days off each week. Also the writing allows me to 'do' movies that I would never do as an actor.

TORn: How is your time in New Zealand?

Conan Stevens: I am enjoying it here in New Zealand, I was in Auckland with Sydney Dance Company in 1996 and again for Spartacus just last year. Being an Australian it makes New Zealand like a second home figuratively and legally - besides the cultural similarities I can travel, stay and work without additional paperwork or time restrictions.

In Wellington everything is within walking distance, the people here are nice, the cool weather makes a change from constantly over heating in the tropics, which is a massive bonus on set wearing costume and makeup while exerting yourself.

It can become very trying when filming in S.E. Asia at 38° C with humidity at 80%+, in a leather overcoat, stunt pads, tons of makeup and a wig in broad daylight in an abandoned rock quarry and studio lights while doing a rather vigorous fight scene.

So for filming in regards to the heat, New Zealand is a lot better.

Best for me though is the quality of meat, eggs and vegetables in New Zealand. The farms still seem to be smaller family run affairs, meaning the food is grown/raised properly in near natural conditions. The Organic food/health culture is very strong too which is fantastic for me as I eat every 2 hours and I can guarantee that eating this real food has a noticeable positive impact on my health.

Anyone who thinks eating manufactured foodstuffs is OK for their health really should sit down and watch this video as a good start to learn why obesity and diabetes is out of control in Western societies, and more importantly how you can beat these modern 'diseases'.

TORn: How did you become attached to "The Hobbit?"

Conan: I was browsing the web as I do looking for interesting things and found a press release that auditions for "The Hobbit" were starting...... except the article was a couple of months old.

It was very late to try for this, probably too late. I had missed out on a part in the remake of the "Conan" movie and I did not want to miss out on "The Hobbit".

The book of "The Hobbit" was given to me to read by a friend of my mother when I was about 12 years old, it set my life on a different path. Next I read "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy, then "The Silmarillion" and Homers "The Odyssey" and every Greek/Roman/Viking myth book I could get my hands on. Pretty heavy reading for a 12 year old.
After this I started playing D&D (the original, then Basic, then Advanced), followed by Gamma World, Aftermath, Middle Earth Fantasy Role Playing and Warhammer (both original and role playing), then onto fighting with the SCA as a Vandal warrior named Sigmar Thorsson, you Warhammer fantasy fellows will like the arrogance of that. That was rather fun. Being so much taller, heavier and stronger than everyone else gave me an advantage. I remember one 'medieval knight' once complaining that you cannot use a 6' diameter round shield as a punch shield, I asked "Why not? It seems to work for me"

Back on topic: In a small panic I called an agent I know and asked him to call "The Hobbit" on my behalf. That started well. We had a disagreement instantly which took me a few minutes to talk him around to making the call. Then the rest of the story is already covered on my website here.

TORn: Is there a different kind of fun being a bad guy for you or is a role a role?

Conan: For me a role is a role in movies. When I used to Wrestle Professionally I preferred being the bad guy, known as the 'Heel', you would get to 'work the crowd' getting them to hate you and want to see you lose, while the good guy 'Babyface' would walk in smile and shake hands with a few kids and his acting job was done. Of course back then we played distinctive good guy/bad guy roles.

Being an actor is a lot more involved than many people realize, there are hundreds of ways to play any character. Even for a stylized bad guy there are 4 or 5 different personalities I can play off the top of my head without thinking – better and more experienced actors can do dozens or hundreds.

So being a bad guy or a good guy, well to me at least, does not really seem to matter.
After all bad guys are just good guys with differing beliefs and moral codes.

Having said that I am only just reaching the 'maturity' where I feel that I can bring something to the movie besides following directions so everything right now for me is a massive learning experience. Just watching the people I work with and how they work on and off set is an exciting learning experience - unlike the formal acting training I have attempted in the past where being a tree and highly stylized ancient Chinese drama were emphasized beyond the normal limits of boredom.

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Apr 22 2012, 4:10pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 22 2012, 3:36pm

Post #2 of 20 (716 views)
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Bolg? [In reply to] Can't Post

Conan is listed as playing Azog. Bolg is supposedly still uncast.

"Darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night!
King of Darkness, who shines like gold upon the Sea of Chaos.
I call upon thee and swear myself to thee!
Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess!"


DeadRabbits
Lorien


Apr 22 2012, 3:50pm

Post #3 of 20 (751 views)
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Perhaps he play them both? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe he's cast as them both, although the role as Bolg is yet unannounced? Just like Lawrence Makoare played both Lurtz, Gothmog and the Witch King.

Now now Bill, you swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of miss nancies, so warriors is what I brought


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 22 2012, 3:51pm

Post #4 of 20 (675 views)
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That's possible, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

It reads like a mistake. We'll see.

"Darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night!
King of Darkness, who shines like gold upon the Sea of Chaos.
I call upon thee and swear myself to thee!
Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess!"


Carne
Tol Eressea

Apr 22 2012, 3:52pm

Post #5 of 20 (731 views)
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I think most people's first impression of him is just "Oh, another big and scary guy" [In reply to] Can't Post

Yet he's a very intelligent guy, based on everything he has written on his site.

Used to be the top chess player in his high school (I think) and is a member of Mensa.

Looking forward to his portrayal of Azog.

EDIT:
And him also playing Bolg makes sense. No other actor has been announced and Conan was in NZ filming for both block one and two, as well as being back in the country this year, so I assume he's involved in block three. Quite much for a character we'd most likely only see in a flashback?


(This post was edited by Carne on Apr 22 2012, 3:59pm)


Bombadil
Half-elven


Apr 22 2012, 3:53pm

Post #6 of 20 (748 views)
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Oh! my STARzzz. [In reply to] Can't Post

did Bomby forget Moses?
Mister Stevens has just RAMPed himself up to the "LEVEL"
That has "Lit another BEACON "

When we are enlightened
this coming Dec.


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 22 2012, 7:19pm

Post #7 of 20 (613 views)
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Great little interview [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a shame that no real *spoilers* or hints were given. I want something tasty to chew on!


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 22 2012, 8:31pm

Post #8 of 20 (1259 views)
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It's Bolg [In reply to] Can't Post

It wasn't supposed to be a big fanfare announcement by request.

The character *was* Azog when his role in the movie was announced. But, perhaps along the way they realized that Azog wasn't even *in* "The Hobbit," and that the orc who led the orc army on the BoFA was actually Bolg. That's only my theory - nothing official - but Larry did recently find out that the character is now Bolg.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





titanium_hobbit
Rohan


Apr 22 2012, 9:10pm

Post #9 of 20 (574 views)
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thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

That puts a different slant on the speculation that there might be dwarven back story because of Azog.

Hobbit firster, Book firster.


Have you explored all of TORN's forums?


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 22 2012, 9:26pm

Post #10 of 20 (572 views)
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Bolg, not Azog? [In reply to] Can't Post

Am I understanding you correctly that Stevens is playing Bolg, and not playing Azog?

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Carne
Tol Eressea

Apr 22 2012, 9:39pm

Post #11 of 20 (539 views)
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So we got some exclusive information along with this interview after all [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 22 2012, 10:08pm

Post #12 of 20 (557 views)
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Correctamundo [In reply to] Can't Post

As I speculated above, perhaps they got the character name wrong, thinking it was Azog, not Bolg that led the orcs in the BoFA. If they didn't (i.e., they knew Azog was not a Hobbit character name), then perhaps they were going to combine both characters into "Azog" so they could do some Moria back-story without the confusion of two similar orc characters, then later realized they could do the same thing with the proper character name, Bolg.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Apr 22 2012, 11:08pm

Post #13 of 20 (549 views)
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I'm very pleased to hear this [In reply to] Can't Post

While my inner Tolkien geek would have liked to see Azog in the film (if he really was the character from Tolkien's books), from the point of view of making the best possible adaptations and films, it makes much more sense to have Bolg. I was slightly (not very) concerned that no casting of Bolg had been announced, although I really didn't think it was very likely that they were going to admit the character (any more than I thought they would admit Dain before Billy Connolly was finally confirmed). After all, Bolg is a tailor-made cinematic bad guy; no need to invent a Lurtz when we have him.

Thanks for cluing us in! Heart

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


duats
Grey Havens

Apr 22 2012, 11:33pm

Post #14 of 20 (532 views)
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This makes me all sorts of happy [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad we can finally put this to rest.


Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Apr 23 2012, 5:41am

Post #15 of 20 (469 views)
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Yay TORn! [In reply to] Can't Post

And great photo!


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 23 2012, 6:57am

Post #16 of 20 (445 views)
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My head hurts ;-) / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 23 2012, 11:39am

Post #17 of 20 (470 views)
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I'm super happy! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was quite upset that Azog had been cast when Bolg hadn't. I am one super happy fan right now Laugh



The Plan 9 Interview... in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring.


Sinister71
Tol Eressea


Apr 23 2012, 6:04pm

Post #18 of 20 (403 views)
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I wasn't upset [In reply to] Can't Post

Persay about them announcing Azog being cast I just figured Bolg would come in time. but as time went on I became more upset about them NOT casting Bolg. I figure PJ will change some of the key factors of the book anyways. Then I heard a rumor about a month ago that Conan Stevens would be playing both Azog and Bolg, which lifted my spirits a bit. but we all know how rumors can be. NOW I hear that he is playing Bolg and not Azog SHEEEEESH make up my mind. personally I hope they have Azog in the films with the whole scenerio of Thror being beheaded by Azog and Dain taking revenge at Moria... Lots of flashback stuff but it would all be great to see.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Apr 23 2012, 6:59pm

Post #19 of 20 (424 views)
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Great thinkin... [In reply to] Can't Post

We have thousands of "Hobbity HomoSapiens"
weary working
Overtime

to get H1&H2....correct

"Once you go outside yourDOOR

you NEVER know
WHO you MOOT with ...?"


xoxox Goldberry's Boyfriend



Angelic


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Apr 23 2012, 7:30pm

Post #20 of 20 (632 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

That clears up a lot of things. And gives me something to do for my cast thread at IMDb. I'll add my own speculation here, perhaps the two characters of Bolg and Azog were being combined into one until someone realized that this created new problems while solving a problem that didn't really exist (Azog doesn't need to appear in The Hobbit).

"Darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night!
King of Darkness, who shines like gold upon the Sea of Chaos.
I call upon thee and swear myself to thee!
Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess!"


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Apr 23 2012, 7:37pm)

 
 

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