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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why have comedians been cast in at least 4 roles?
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Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 9 2013, 10:40am

Post #1 of 105 (3650 views)
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Why have comedians been cast in at least 4 roles? Can't Post

1. Stephen Fry as The Master
2. Billy Connolly as Dain
3. Dame Edna as Goblin King
4. Figwit
maybe Colbert. *shudder*

just curious why its necessary. The Master and Dain are certainly not comic characters. What is it about comedians that PJ thinks is suitable for a fantasy childrens book. Whimsy? and if so, whats whimsical about eating testicles and such like? just curious really.

Shocked


Runk Snusgrop
Rivendell


Apr 9 2013, 10:48am

Post #2 of 105 (2259 views)
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Re: [In reply to] Can't Post

If their acting style suit the characters, what difference does it make what they are?



Shagrat
Gondor

Apr 9 2013, 10:52am

Post #3 of 105 (2221 views)
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Distinguishing [In reply to] Can't Post

Fry is primarily a comedic actor, and a very good actor all round. He'll be fine.

It's Connolly I'm worried about, since he is primarily a stand-up comic. He is capable of very fine dramatic acting (Boondock Saints, Mrs Brown, various modern crime dramas set in Scotland), but it's vital Jackson keeps him restrained. I'd have infinitely preferred someone like James Cosmo or Jack Thompson. As it is, I'm slightly worried about the role. It depends how Jackson wants Billy to play him.

The use of Barry Humphries I had no problem with, since it's only a voice.


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 9 2013, 11:53am

Post #4 of 105 (2063 views)
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Hm... [In reply to] Can't Post

The most crucial of these roles is certainly the Master... and there I would not make the mistake to reduce Fry to the status of a comedian. I liked a lot of his more serious work as well and do not see any problem - certainly not since we have not seen much of his take on the role. He can certainly bring the un-intended comedy to the role that some politicians in real-life have as well, as the role and the episode in Esgaroth is relatively political for Tolkien's world imho.


Chubb-Baggins
The Shire


Apr 9 2013, 11:59am

Post #5 of 105 (2105 views)
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Stephen Fry [In reply to] Can't Post

Watch the film "Wilde" if you are OK with homosexual relationships. Stephen Fry had a solid performance as Oscar Wilde.


Lindele
Gondor


Apr 9 2013, 12:06pm

Post #6 of 105 (2032 views)
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Because [In reply to] Can't Post

they are good actors, and they fit the characters that PJ and co. have created. I've heard many complaints about PJ's Middle-earth adaptations but casting has never been one of them.
Besides...how do you know that Dain and The Master aren't comical characters? After reading The Hobbit I sure don't.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 9 2013, 12:42pm

Post #7 of 105 (2084 views)
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McKenzie and Colbert [In reply to] Can't Post

Lindir is a pretty minor role; I don't think that Bret McKenzie's status as a comedian is relevant. I have to say much the same for whatever cameo that Stephen Colbert might be given.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Apr 9 2013, 12:57pm

Post #8 of 105 (2038 views)
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About Stephen Fry and Billy Connolly, [In reply to] Can't Post

Stephen Fry do act in several serious roles, as in Wilde, and he did a great job! Yes, he can be very comical, but he can be a really great serious one as well :)
I hope PJ can find that middle ground!

Billy Connolly have acted in Boondock Saints (1 and 2), and his role there is quite bad ass and I think it will be the best reference-point for in which direction Dain is headed! He can be really frightening if he want to ;)

Vocalist in the progressive metal band Renamed.


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 9 2013, 1:32pm

Post #9 of 105 (1943 views)
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not so concerned about most of these [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
1. Stephen Fry as The Master
2. Billy Connolly as Dain
3. Dame Edna as Goblin King
4. Figwit
maybe Colbert. *shudder*

just curious why its necessary. The Master and Dain are certainly not comic characters. What is it about comedians that PJ thinks is suitable for a fantasy childrens book. Whimsy? and if so, whats whimsical about eating testicles and such like? just curious really.

Shocked


stephen fry, as many have noted above, has given wonderful, dramatic performances (wilde -- even though wilde himself had comic touches, and fry delivered them).

i suspect billy connolly will ge very good, if he does the same sort of non-comedic work that he did for mrs. brown.

figwit/lindir has never come across as comedic in any way, excepting for the brief lip curl that he gives when elrond hands him the orc-blade (which wasn't delivered in a comic fashion -- i just find it funny).

the only one i have concerns about is colbert. i've not seen him in any dramatic performance, and i fear he will be distracting.

regarding comedians in dramatic roles... what i don't want to see is something like dawn french's role in larkrise to candleford. i didn't really know who she was, before the series. i found her performance too much on the self-aware / comedian side. afterwards, i found out she was a comedian / comedic actor.

contrast this with freeman's performance as bilbo. there's a lot to laugh at, but what makes it real is that you don't have a sense that freeman, through bilbo, is self-aware that he's being funny -- meaning -- it doesn't show, even though freeman might be aware that something he's doing might be humorous.

contrast that with ian holm's bilbo. sometimes holm's bilbo (to me) brushes up (a bit) against this "comedically self-aware" zone, which doesn't ring as true / is a bit distracting ('tho i enjoy his performance overall).

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Apr 9 2013, 1:35pm)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 9 2013, 2:23pm

Post #10 of 105 (1904 views)
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A couple of points [In reply to] Can't Post

firstly Fry is not being asked to play the sensitive and elegant Wilde is he? The Master has been turned into a gross out testicle eater. second why chose a comedian to play Dain? especially after Connolly openly ridiculed Tolkien fans, if I had been PJ Connolly would have been on the next flight to Scotland. How can we be expected to believe he even wants the role seeing as he thinks its all rubbish? Dain is NOT a comedy Dwarf, and why else would they choose a comedic actor if not for witty bonmots and tossing gags.


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 9 2013, 2:31pm

Post #11 of 105 (1983 views)
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james cosmo!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

It's Connolly I'm worried about, since he is primarily a stand-up comic. He is capable of very fine dramatic acting (Boondock Saints, Mrs Brown, various modern crime dramas set in Scotland), but it's vital Jackson keeps him restrained. I'd have infinitely preferred someone like James Cosmo or Jack Thompson. As it is, I'm slightly worried about the role. It depends how Jackson wants Billy to play him.



james cosmo would have been +wonderful+... and i would not have been as grumpy with the throne of erebor passing to him. not that i begrudge connolly's dain, but... oh, hang it all... can't thorin just survive his wounds and get to live out his revelation that life would be better if more valued cheer above gold?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


Apr 9 2013, 2:53pm

Post #12 of 105 (1860 views)
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I know where you are coming from [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a big Connelly fan, and know he can be a terrific actor. I have a clear idea of him delivering the lines like...

"Durin's Heir you may be, but even with one eye you should see clearer. We fought this war for vengeance, and vengeance we have taken. But it is not sweet. If this is victory, then our hands are too small to hold it."

and

“You are the father of our Folk, and we have bled for you, and will again. But we will not enter Khazad-dum. You will not enter Khazad-dum. Only I have looked through the shadow of the Gate. Beyond the shadow it waits for you still: Durin’s Bane. The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin’s Folk walk again in Moria.”

...amazingly well.

However, I worry he won't take it seriously and won't do them justice (and Jackson will do the same).


(This post was edited by Hamfast of Gamwich on Apr 9 2013, 2:54pm)


Glorfindela
Valinor


Apr 9 2013, 2:56pm

Post #13 of 105 (1848 views)
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To be honest, I'm not particularly concerned [In reply to] Can't Post

…about Stephen Fry and Billy Connolly's performances. As you say Stephen Fry gave a wonderful performance as Oscar Wilde, and he is perfectly capable of playing serious and comic roles (and he is a polymath). Billy Connolly is also versatile enough to play Dain. His comedy is often intelligent and I've seen him in documentaries in which he speaks in a very interesting way – oh, and I love his accent.

I don't care about Figwit and didn't think he would appear in the forthcoming films (he didn't, really, in LOTR and he's only a made-up decoration).

I don't know who Colbert is.

I prefer to see the films before I give an opinion about these actors' performances and the way they are shown in the film. I have no particular opinion about how they 'should' be, because they are only sketchily described by Tolkien.

I do, however, admit I am concerned about the addition of the new Tauriel character, unless the part is very minor indeed.


In Reply To
stephen fry, as many have noted above, has given wonderful, dramatic performances (wilde -- even though wilde himself had comic touches, and fry delivered them).

i suspect billy connolly will ge very good, if he does the same sort of non-comedic work that he did for mrs. brown.

figwit/lindir has never come across as comedic in any way, excepting for the brief lip curl that he gives when elrond hands him the orc-blade (which wasn't delivered in a comic fashion -- i just find it funny).

the only one i have concerns about is colbert. i've not seen him in any dramatic performance, and i fear he will be distracting.

.



Lindele
Gondor


Apr 9 2013, 3:03pm

Post #14 of 105 (1846 views)
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Characters [In reply to] Can't Post

do not have to be so black and white that they have no comedic or whimsical side in addition to a more serious, warrior-like side.
Dain's personality is left COMPLETELY up to the reader's imagination (in this case PJ and co.) so there is no reason why he can't have a side that is more personable and at times comical since the film is required to do more than state that Dain came in at the end and saved the day. Casting Billy Connolly in no way insinuates that Dain will be strictly 'comedy.' Billy Connolly obviously has a great range and I am sure he will fit the part perfectly.

As for his dislike for obsessive fans...who cares? Everybody is entitled to their opinion and not everyone who is involved in The Hobbit films (or LOTR for that matter) have to be die hard fans. They just need to be good at their craft.


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 9 2013, 3:15pm

Post #15 of 105 (1855 views)
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colbert is [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
I don't know who Colbert is.


stephen colbert is a comedic, satirical political commentator in the u.s. he's a rather thoughtful person, and gentleman-like in his own guise, but for his show ("the colbert report"), he adopts the persona of an abrasive, narcissistic, know-it-all.

the tauriel discussion is still going strong...


http://newboards.theonering.net/...;;page=unread#unread


and your decision to not judge a performance until you've actually seen it makes a lot of hobbit-sense.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 9 2013, 3:19pm

Post #16 of 105 (1844 views)
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I do not say [In reply to] Can't Post

that the comedians cannot play serious roles, my concern or question is solely why choose lots of comedians when there are perfectly good normal actors for these roles? its just odd thats all. why do they need to inject humour at all? thats my question.


Gorbag
Rivendell


Apr 9 2013, 3:35pm

Post #17 of 105 (1860 views)
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Because they are all very fine actors. Comedy doesnt come without acting. Really very simple. [In reply to] Can't Post

To say define them as ''Comedians'', and thus not worthy to sit along other ''Normal Actors'' is a very silly.

They are all (Especially Stephen Fry) very fine actors. Most have acted in comedy series, or as a comedy creation, just because its comedy tone doesnt mean it isnt acted well or on par with a ''Serious'' role.

Anyway, who said they were going to be comedic in their roles? Ive heard nothing of it. Yes the Goblin King had his slight comedy moments, but lets not kid our selves, this is a childrens book. As PJ has said time and time again, these films are going to be lots lighter in tone.

I have complete faith in PJ and his casting choices as proven by Barry Humphries as The Goblin King, who i thought was fantastic.

“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 9 2013, 3:43pm

Post #18 of 105 (1817 views)
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It's not odd at all [In reply to] Can't Post

The production team felt those particular actors/comedians were suitable for that particular character. Whether we like them or not, they chose them because they liked them, and felt they would do a good job.

I don't think the Goblin King injects any humour into the film. And I haven't see The Master or Dain, so cannot judge them as of yet.


(This post was edited by DanielLB on Apr 9 2013, 3:43pm)


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Apr 9 2013, 3:44pm

Post #19 of 105 (1860 views)
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which proves a point.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I went,

ShockedShockedShockedShockedShocked

he's a comedian??????

really?????

wow!!!!

He just seemed so... Elvish... and pretty... and....

wow!!! Heart

Go outside and play...


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 9 2013, 3:49pm

Post #20 of 105 (1853 views)
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Bret is also a talented musician [In reply to] Can't Post

which demonstrates that people can have multiple talents and should not be defined by one image.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Apr 9 2013, 3:49pm

Post #21 of 105 (1848 views)
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indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

...all one has to do is look at Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock to see that fine balance of understated humor and emotion and seriousness and fine fine acting ability...

...and how Watson is not the least bit like Bilbo.

So much for Cumbersmaugs.

They will all be awesome.

Go outside and play...


Maciliel
Valinor


Apr 9 2013, 3:50pm

Post #22 of 105 (1845 views)
Shortcut
cumbersmaug!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
(cumbersmaug!!!!)


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 9 2013, 5:17pm

Post #23 of 105 (1764 views)
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well I think I have the right [In reply to] Can't Post

to ask a question without getting sniffy remarks like being called 'silly'. I dont appreciate being patronized thanks.

''I have complete faith in PJ and his casting choices as proven by Barry Humphries as The Goblin King, who i thought was fantastic''.

and quite frankly thats open to question, I didnt find him fantastic at all.


dubulous
Rohan

Apr 9 2013, 6:01pm

Post #24 of 105 (1723 views)
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Not sure I understand... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really understand the need to even differentiate between comedians and "normal" actors. What is a normal actor anyway? Just because an actor's main body of work consists of comedy, doesn't make them any less or more valid than so called "normal" actors. They are all actors, and if an actor is suitable for the role, what difference does it make how much comedy they've done before? Should they just not be hired if they've done too many comedies? The only thing that matters is what they can bring to these particular roles. Besides, both Stephen Fry and Billy Connolly have a pretty impressive filmography consisting of a large variety of roles. I might understand your concern if all they had every done was comedy, but that's not the case. They are actors. I'm not sure what more should be required. So far Peter Jackson has done a pretty incredible job casting for both LotR and The Hobbit, so I'm not worried at all about these choices.


Username4242
Bree

Apr 9 2013, 6:35pm

Post #25 of 105 (1747 views)
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Billy Connolly in the Boondock Saints-- [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqq9MpbQ9uU

Frankly, he will be quite terrifying as Dane. I think that you have too much of a black-and-white understanding of acting and comedy, thinking that one is either a comedian or an actor. One can quite easily do both, and I think that Billy Connolly will be perfect for the part.

Another point: Stephen Fry's comic partner, Hugh Laurie, also plays Dr. House in the American TV series House. Would you say that he is incapable of holding a serious part because he is also a comedian?

Comedy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOSYiT2iG08]

vs.

Drama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOrDKAbU9fs

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