The Action Elite spent an evening chatting with John-Rhys Davies at Dragon*Con. In this long, four-part interview, he discusses his thoughts about The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Indiana Jones, Sliders and Shakespeare. Part two, where Rhys-Davies speaks about The Lord of the Rings is below, and you can watch all four parts here.
What a great interview, and what a great man!
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He sounds so optimistic about the upcoming films, the technology, the writing and PJ. Nice to see how positive he is.
I wonder if this confirms that JRD won't be voicing any characters in The Hobbit. If he is still concerned that he didn't do Treebeard justice, then perhaps it's put him off. Gimli cameo more likely then?
I would like to apologize publicly to John Rhys-Davies.
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It was me who poisoned the latex. I wanted to stop the terrible heretic films, so I snuck into the production site and poured liquefied stinging nettle and concentrated chili into the latex barrel outside his trailer. It seemed like a clever idea at that time. I see now that I should not have caused Mr. Rhys-Davies so much pain, and that it was not the right thing to do (plus ineffective in terms of film-stopping).
The Glorious Truth of J.R.R. Tolkien Radiates from his Holy Writings
What a very thoughtful and sincere person he is, to be so open and in-depth in this interview.
Some things in particular:
First - I had always read that he had problems with the make-up, but hearing his re-telling of it made me realize just how serious it was. The poor man! No wonder he was in no mood for socializing! I'm so glad that he did not have any permanent ill effects from the reaction.
Second - I was very touched by how he still wonders whether he 'got it right' - speaking of Treebeard's voice. It reminds me of something I read about the films, and about the score, where it was said they never felt anything was finished, it was finished when they ran into the deadline, when 'they took it away from you', then it was finished.
"How does a tree speak? How does a tree breathe?" ... I wonder if they are having these same in-depth discussions about how to bring Smaug's voice to life.
Thanks for posting this - a great interview with a great actor.
Young Gimli has no cause to be in the Iron Hills
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Dwarves and have him fight Next to his Dad? We would all be Cheering.....in our seats.
Gimli was left behind with the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains. If JRD has a cameo, and it is not as the voice of one of the Trolls, than he is probably going to appear as a human character. I'm still betting on the grandfather of Barliman Butterbur in the Prancing Pony. 'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White
He was at the One Ring Conventions in Pasadena and the second of the TORN Oscar Parties (where he basically was encased in fans) Always was a delight to speak to and never the feeling of being rushed (through Creation had several minders clearly signalling him and trying to move him on) Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
One of the most 'fanboy' comments about PJ in the extra material in the EEs (and one of my favourite comments too) is by JRD and (paraphrasing from memory) goes something like (I wish I could remember it word for word):
"PJ must only have had four or five hours sleep a day for about eighteen months [during principle photography], but he never threw a moment's fit of frustration or petulance. He was always there, he was always patient, he always knew what he wanted. And so, we ticked off the pages, as I knew we were making a masterpiece."
(If someone can quote it word for word, please do! )
(This post was edited by RoseCotton on Sep 6 2012, 7:38am)
I think I must be confused about what fanboy means.
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I know these types of terms tend to mean something different to everyone. But I can't put my finger on a definition that works for this example.
Could you elaborate on what fanboy means to you and why that quote (which I don't doubt is accurate, even if not exact) makes JRD a fanboy?
I always take those types of comments as good business practices. One doesn't work for someone, and when asked about them in public and on the record, say much bad about them... if one wants to work for that person again or even someone else in the industry.
I mean, we learned that in my Business of Creativity class for graphic design. :-)
Additionally, many projects involve long hours and unpleasant conditions and even testy moments. If one can, one tries to just put a pleasant light on things both during and after. At least, some try. And if there's another project down the road... all things equal, the person who tried is probably more likely to get a call back than the person who didn't.
I think it is also a healthy habit to get into
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to try to see the positive in things or to at least try to see things in a way that doesn't vilify others if at all possible. It is a matter of respect and dignity and personal character on some level.
I think it is also a practice of many successful people to try their best to learn from any difficult moments and figure out how they could have handled it differently or recognize where there is room for growth within themselves or where room for improvement may be found. Often such lines of thought open the door to actual improvement and growth. I also think that when someone produces really great work like PJ and company did with the whole LOTR series, complements are warranted. If there was success than recognizing the factors that led to such success and putting the spotlight on the positives can be inspirational to others. I really liked that aspect of JRD's attitude in this interview
That is not to say that when there is friction or disagreement that one person should utterly deny or ignore or pretend that it didn't exist or be dishonest about their experience of it. I don't think that was a factor in this interview.
(This post was edited by Escapist on Sep 6 2012, 1:48pm)
I think I tend to be one who sees the worst and vocalizes often. It's taken me many decades to try to turn that around. I would watch people I admire and learn from them. There are times when pointing out issues is necessary and useful. But sometimes, folks just put their heads down and do their best and try hard to be cheerful in the process. I would observe that, when times were toughest at the inner city school I worked at... people upped their good cheer. We made it a point to greet people. We made it a point to smile. We knew that our patience and good will were going to be tested during the day and we kind of got a head start on banking what we could before the stuff hit the fan.
But back to the topic... my confusion is how this equates to fanboy. And am I right in that fanboy is often used and/or often read as a mostly negative? Does this term get used affectionately? I hear people use the term geeks for themselves and their cohorts affectionately. But mostly, when I hear fanboy, even amongst fans, it seems to be aimed at 'someone else'... not ourselves. And it seems to be put down.. not a term of endearment or pride.
And I sure wince at the gender thing. If someone wants to insult me (and I've only had fanboy used at me as an insult), then I'd kindly appreciate getting the gender. And the age. Boy has historically been a term of great insult. It's a pointed reference to not-adult and not equal to the adults in the room.
... although I deliberately put the term in 'scare quotes' to indicate that it was being used in 'so to speak' kind of way.
To be literal: I intended it only to mean that it seemed to me that the quote demonstrated the most clear respect-bordering-on-admiration that I'd seen any of the cast or crew articulate regarding PJ was this one; and it was delivered by JRD (about whom this thread...).
Also, as you can see from my saying it's a favourite quote, I certainly didn't intend any of the potentially negative connotations of 'fanboy'.
I talked to my 28 year old son a bit and asked about the use of fanboy in the places on the web he visited to get a better understanding of it. My exposure to is is quite limited and the places where it's been used against me were at unmoderated forums with lots of troll posts. So that's not a good indication of how it's used across the web.
I've always taken the terms 'fanboy' or 'fangirl' to mean something like: 'someone who loves something so much they find it hard to be objective about that thing.' So it can be used negatively, as in 'oh, you're just a fanboy' (meaning, your opinion isn't useful, because obviously you're going to love it.) However many people would describe themselves quite happily as a fanboy or fangirl - I would unashamedly call myself a Tolkien fangirl and my partner often describes himself as a 'Linux fanboy' or 'Black Sabbath fanboy'. Also, I don't think it's really age-exclusive - it has connotations of screaming teenagers, I suppose, but there's no actual age-limit. It gets applied to younger people more often, I would think, mainly because they have a bigger internet presence.
Seems like bad form to start off by pitting the films against the books, and cornering JRD with the awfully leading question "do you agree that the films are better than the books?"
Had he said no, his friend PJ might be publicly insulted. He says yes, and...well, Tolkien ain't around anymore.
UPDATE: After watching the whole interview, I hate to say that the interviewer is one of the worst I have heard. Asking questions that turn into statements "do you think PJ will pull it off with the Hobbit, because I can guarantee that it will be better than the books" etc. etc.
Someone needs to coach this kid!
(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Sep 7 2012, 4:49am)
Yes, clearly he needs to be coached to say,
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"Those films were quite a load, and you ruined my favorite character. How do you respond to being a disappointment on all humanity?" I'm sure that's what he'd want to hear
It's not meant in some sort of serious interview context. They're just somewhat casually going through JRD's career, talking about how he's observed the film industry changing around him. He's a straight shooter. Even if the questions had been asked differently, I highly doubt his response would vary. He didn't just praise PJ on the appendices (and here) for publicity's sake. Whether you agree or not (and we know you don't!), this is his perspective, having been an actor working with this director for three straight movies. You know that 'reputable' folks like Sir Ian McKellen would not have gone back if they truly found the work artistically unfulfilling. What questions would you have asked, pray tell?
Mr. Rhys-Davies seems to be a wonderful man, the type that loves to tell stories and enjoy a good meal (in fact, in one of the LE interviews Dom mentioned his enjoyment of telling tales). It would be a wonderful experience for him to re-visit Middle-Earth and to play a dwarf again, despite those terribly itchy prothstetics. Gimli's character could have been more elaborated on in LotR, and a Hobbit cameo may not do much in the favor of his characterization, but it may add a nice touch and new sense of Gimli's strong pride in his people. 'I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor- though, I do not know the way...' 'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!'