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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Northern Mine Barrage :
Why have comedians been cast in at least 4 roles?
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sauget.diblosio
Sailing Master

Apr 9 2013, 6:41pm

Post #26 of 105 (499 views)
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I like all those actors. [In reply to] Can't Post

And personally, i've seen Billy Connolly and Stephen Frye in as many dramatic roles as comedy. Even Stephen Colbert, who is much more known as a comedic actor (i loved him on Strangers With Candy) has done some dramatic roles. So while it does seem more of a trend in The Hobbit films to cast actors known for their comedy, i don't think it's alarming.

Barry Humphries, who i'd never seen in anything, was actually one of the more successful aspects of the Great Goblin, and Brett McKenzie was just fine as Lindir. Even Sylvester McCoy, who i pretty much hated as The Doctor, did a fine job for his part with Radagast.

I doubt Colbert will be anything more than a flash on the screen. I'm certain that Billy Connolly's Dain is going to be great on screen, and my doubts about the Master have more to do with how he's written and designed than anything to do with Stephen Frye. So, for me anyway, it's not the casting that's the problem with some of these characters, it's everything else.


QuackingTroll
Quartermaster


Apr 9 2013, 6:44pm

Post #27 of 105 (537 views)
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James Nesbitt is also a bit of a comedian and Martin Freeman has been in comedies // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Apr 9 2013, 6:45pm)


glor
Rigger

Apr 9 2013, 6:59pm

Post #28 of 105 (518 views)
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YES: Martin freeman [In reply to] Can't Post

is or rather was a comedic actor/actor known for comedy whose career prior to Sherlock consisted almost entirely of comedy roles.

Stephen Fry and Billy Conolly actual have more 'serious' dramatic acting experience than Freeman, which makes for a nonsensical argument if one is concerned about comedians being cast in The Hobbit, one has to include Freeman in that tooCrazy


JWPlatt
Boatswain


Apr 9 2013, 8:08pm

Post #29 of 105 (514 views)
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Type [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
entmaiden: Bret is also a talented musician which demonstrates that people can have multiple talents and should not be defined by one image.


That would be the liberal, enlightened point of view voiced by most any Hollywood actor, but Hollywood itself does not practice enlightenment so well, preferring remakes and casting by type. As such, the reasonable concern is that the production - Jackson, et al - is hiring comedians for a reason; that it is not taking The Hobbit seriously enough and is not guided by the spirit of Tolkien's work, perhaps even pandering to a demographic of ages in the single digits.

Jackson indicated very early on about The Hobbit that those who expected more Lord of the Rings might be disappointed. The trouble is that the production also said they would like The Hobbit to lead into Lord of the Rings as a five- or six-part series. You can't really have both and make it seamless. The concern about comedians is a measure of such disappointment about a film not taking itself as seriously as we'd like - not about casting against type.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Apr 9 2013, 8:12pm)


entmaiden
Terror of the Seas / Moderator


Apr 9 2013, 8:15pm

Post #30 of 105 (499 views)
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I don't make decisions based on what Hollywood says or thinks [In reply to] Can't Post

so it really doesn't matter to me if some unnamed person might think that Peter Jackson is not taking The Hobbit seriously. Will that stop him from making the movies? Doubt it. Will it reduce the box office? Probably not. Might it reduce the chances of winning some awards? Maybe, but that's not important to me. Do I care that the transition from The Hobbit movies to the Lord of the Rings movies is seamless? Not at all.


There&ThereAgain
Rigger


Apr 9 2013, 8:54pm

Post #31 of 105 (433 views)
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because [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit is a very humorous and funny story.

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


Roheryn
Boatswain

Apr 9 2013, 8:54pm

Post #32 of 105 (465 views)
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In Bret's case [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd have to say it's pretty obvious. Since he's not only a great comedian but also a very talented musician (he has an Oscar!), casting him as Lindir can only mean one thing: in the Really Extended Edition, Lindir, while strumming a ukulele, will lead the Rivendell Elves on a rousing chorus of "Tra La La Lally, Here Down in the Valley". It will be the comic highlight of the trilogy! After all, we've already heard him sing "Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring", so this isn't much of a stretch.

Wink

But seriously, his original placement as an extra in the Council of Elrond scene in FOTR was simply because someone in casting thought he looked like an Elf. The whole Figwit phenomenon took off, PJ brought him back in ROTK as a nod to fans, and I think his inclusion in AUJ is partially a nod to fans and partially because he makes a good Elf. I don't think it's any more complicated than that. I think it's delightful that he has a named part in AUJ.


Eleniel
Boatswain


Apr 9 2013, 8:56pm

Post #33 of 105 (457 views)
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Cumbersmaug! [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, just seen this photo of a Cumbersmaug and had to post it here... Laugh

http://www.facebook.com/...p;type=1&theater


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Į Victoria Monfort






Maciliel
Sailing Master


Apr 9 2013, 9:24pm

Post #34 of 105 (474 views)
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ho-lee cow--- i mean -- ho-lee cumbersmaug! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
the detailing on that costume is incredible. i can't tell where the costume ends and cumbersmaug begins.

if he gives a good performance, many doors will open for cumbersmaug. he might get a call from george lucas, who will need new blood for star wars xxiii: a redundant hope. he could be cumberwampa or even cumbertaun-taun.


cumbersmaug!!!!


thanks for sharing : )


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
Gunner


Apr 9 2013, 9:59pm

Post #35 of 105 (428 views)
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you dont seem to have read my post [In reply to] Can't Post

well a couple of you havent read my post otherwise i wouldnt be getting these knee-jerk reactions.
I did not say, nor have EVER said that these comedian/Actors cant do serious roles. thats NOT my question.


Elenorflower
Gunner


Apr 9 2013, 10:04pm

Post #36 of 105 (432 views)
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thank you JWPlatt [In reply to] Can't Post

you are the only one who seems to have actually read my post. its not about if these comedians can do serious roles, thats obvious that they CAN, I KNOW Stephen Fry can take on meaty heavy roles, my point is WHY are they hiring comedians in the first place, its odd and nobody apart from you has taken on my question. thanks for taking me seriously.

Sly


Escapist
Gunner


Apr 9 2013, 10:15pm

Post #37 of 105 (381 views)
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Since the movie isn't released yet, we can only guess. [In reply to] Can't Post

But one of my favorite things about the original The Hobbit was the humor. An army of comedians with different styles would be simply awesome for developing the humor in this movie so that a diverse array of senses of humor can be entertained. I suppose that this would be no help the those without a sense of humor, however. Wink


DanielLB
Captain


Apr 9 2013, 10:19pm

Post #38 of 105 (432 views)
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You might be miffed by people's responses, because of the way your question(s) were worded. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's easy to misinterpret a question on an online forum. Nodoby is deliberately trying to wind you up. Not intentionally anyway! Wink

I thought I had answered your question, but maybe not.

I don't think it is odd at all that 3 actors, who dabble more in comedy than the rest of the actors, have been hired for the job. After all, you've named just 3 people out of a whole cast of actors and actresses (all of which have very, very different professional backgrounds). Does it matter that they've been hired? No, no it doesn't (and I know that's not what you're insinuating). Your suggesting that because 3 actors who dabble in comedy have a role in the film, may lead to more comedic roles of the character they're playing.

Since we haven't yet seen Fry's or Connolly's performance, who knows how they're going to turn out. There's not much point double guessing. Though if I had too, I can't imagine Dain will be anymore goofy than Thorin. He is, after all, King under the Mountain (eventually anyway).

As for the Goblin King, it was very strange casting. When I first heard the news I did think it was odd. But having seen the Goblin King's performance, it is fine. You would never know that it's Dame Edna under that CGI. I don't think that character adds any "comedy" either to film. It adds a more fantastical element, and that matches the much more light-hearted tone of the book, and the films.

Whether we are fond of these actors or not isn't going to influence casting decisions. Peter Jackson hasn't said it is necessary for these roles to be filled with comedy (and there's not much evidence of it either) or comedic stars. Of course, there are 6 billion other people in the world that could have played these roles. Fact is, Peter Jackson likes them. Stephen Fry could have been a famous astronaut and still gotten the job.

So why have they chosen these actors then? My answer is: just 'cos. The production team believe they can provide the necessary requirements to bring those characters alive on screen. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out. And I believe they will all do the best they can.

And one final note. Only Barry Humphries can really be described as comedian.


(This post was edited by DanielLB on Apr 9 2013, 10:24pm)


Username4242
Powder Monkey

Apr 9 2013, 10:39pm

Post #39 of 105 (393 views)
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Er, that's silly then. [In reply to] Can't Post

They were hired because they were thought to be the best fit for the part. Tautological, but true.

If their being comedians has no bearing on their ability to effectively portray serious roles (as you said!), why would you make this post?


DanielLB
Captain


Apr 9 2013, 10:40pm

Post #40 of 105 (377 views)
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That's the exact reaction they are going for. [In reply to] Can't Post

We're not supposed to have any sympathy for The Master, when he finally snuffs it. I don't think there is anything wrong with making the character grotesque. He's another member of a long line of enemies and set-backs for the Dwarves. Turning the character into a mean-spirited person is the best way of illustrating that on screen.

And I wouldn't take the testicle comment too seriously. What does a raw testicle on a plate even look like anyway? (......) The Master won't stop Alfrid mid-sentence to inform him that he's going to eat a testicle; neither will there be a big sign saying "testicle here".

And as I said in the previous comment, we know absolutely nothing about Dain and Connolly's performance of the character. Maybe you should just wait and see. He'll be covered in prosthesis, and nodoby has suggested that all he'll talk about is tossing Dwarves.

Just because Connolly use to be a comedian, doesn't mean Dain will be. Connolly has a very wide acting repertoire.


Elenorflower
Gunner


Apr 9 2013, 10:48pm

Post #41 of 105 (397 views)
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do you know of any other fantasy film [In reply to] Can't Post

that has employed at least 4 comedians? the only other one I can think of is Timebandits but that was supposed to be funny. What gets me miffed as you say is that I dont think PJ is taking this seriously hence the comedians rather than 'straight' Actors, comedians mean comedic, call me old fashioned but thats my take on it, and why is Dain comedic and why is the Master comedic, I dont think they should be.


(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Apr 9 2013, 10:49pm)


DanielLB
Captain


Apr 9 2013, 10:57pm

Post #42 of 105 (366 views)
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I didn't say I thought PJ wasn't taking it seriously. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I'm sure that's not what you meant.

Ultimately, this may be where the problem lies. A comedian doesn't just play comedic roles. They are definitely not mutually exclusive. You rarely today have someone who describes themselves as a comedian, unless all they do, is stand up etc.

All actors have very different professional backgrounds. They may specialise in comedy, but they are as good at being a "normal" actor as anybody else. Just like how a "normal" actor can can play a comedic character.

It really doesn't matter about their previous roles. All that matters is their performance in these films.

As I said above, just because a "comedian" has been hired, doesn't mean we will get a comedic character. I'm going to sound all hippy now ... just don't worry yourself over it. Wait until we have more information, or at least have seen their performances, and then ask why PJ chose these performers over other performers.

Smile

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had lots of comedians. As does Doctor Who on a regular basis. Even Narnia has actors who have dabbled/currently dabble in comedy.


(This post was edited by DanielLB on Apr 9 2013, 11:04pm)


Ataahua
The Kraken / Moderator


Apr 9 2013, 11:07pm

Post #43 of 105 (365 views)
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Has there been information [In reply to] Can't Post

about Dain's character having light-hearted or comedic moments?

This is a genuine question - the only information I've seen about Dain is that he's played by Billy Connolly, and if any more information has been released then I've missed it. Can anyone catch me up?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Maciliel
Sailing Master


Apr 9 2013, 11:16pm

Post #44 of 105 (347 views)
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i think there's a difference [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i think there's a difference between a comedian and a comedic actor, but they often overlap, as an artist grows and makes choices and gains new experiences.

cary grant was both a comedic actor and a dramatic actor. as far as i know, he didn't do stand-up, so i wouldn't classify him as a comedian. not every actor can do comedy and drama equally well, even if both types of roles are on his/her resume.

an artist can start off as a comedian, and foray into comedic roles, but not be very good at it. or have a very limited range, in which he/she essentially plays his/her comedian personality. i can think of a lot of comedians who fit this profile.

i also think stand-up is a bit different than sketch comedy, in which one is often playing a role, even if it's for comedic effect.

and there are some comedians who wind up being good comedic actors and who also wind up being good dramatic actors.

if an artist is good at many things, it might be best to think of her/him not as an "x" or a "y." "x" and "y" are things to list on the resume. what that person is, is an artist.

i wouldn't list any of the talent in the original post as a "comedian." as far as i know their work, they all have far more breadth (except for colbert -- who may have breadth... i'm just not aware of that type of work on his resume).

it would strike me as more unusual if pj hired a bunch of straight-up, stand-up comedians, who don't have experience beyond stand-up, for these films.

it seems you have enjoyed a lot of what peter jackson and all the creative talent have brought to these films. i hope that any concerns you may have (and i'm not saying they're not legitimate -- they are your concerns, after all) will still allow you to enjoy the remaining films that will give you as much pleasure as anything you've found pleasure in in all the preceding films.


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, 11:19pm)


DanielLB
Captain


Apr 9 2013, 11:20pm

Post #45 of 105 (360 views)
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No, all we've heard it ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Dain is played by Connolly, who may or may not sport a mohawk, and may or may not ride a boar into battle. And will be wearing a prosthetic.

Apart from appearance, we haven't been told anything about his actual characterisation.


Altaira
The Kraken / Moderator


Apr 9 2013, 11:52pm

Post #46 of 105 (346 views)
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But, that's just it [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
comedians mean comedic


On one hand, you're saying you didn't mean that comedic actors can't play serious roles, but on the other hand, that quote very much implies that because they're comedians, they're going to make their Hobbit characters comedic, not seroius. If comedians *can* play serious roles, why wouldn't that apply to their roles in The Hobbit? I'm genuinely confused and just want to understand.

I *think* there are two points mixed up in your post: 1) PJ is going to make some of the Hobbit characters comedic when you think he shouldn't, and 2) that casting comedians means their characters are going to be comedic by default. To me, the answers are: 1) whomever they cast has no bearing on whether or not their characters are comedic (with which I *think* you agree because you said comedians *can* do serious roles), and 2) making parts of the film comedic has no bearing on who they cast (serious actors can be funny too).

There's no need to get upset with people if they misinterpret your question. Threads take on a life of their own sometimes and it's nothing personal against whomever started the thread. Smile


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





(This post was edited by Altaira on Apr 10 2013, 1:00am)


Mahtion
Cabin Boy

Apr 9 2013, 11:52pm

Post #47 of 105 (336 views)
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Why have you made a thread complaining about comedians casted who are not exclusively comedians? [In reply to] Can't Post

Elenorflower, no one is patronizing you or instigating with their comments. It is a matter of language and what your words have conveyed. Your primary point is how PJ is treating the movie without sincerity or reinterpreting somber characters with comedic undertones. This is supported by your comment questioning the use of actors who have comedic experience. It is true that PJ may use these actors for the comedic ability. However having a range of ability allows an actor to have greater expressive talent and act with realism.

Comedy as a film genre is considered one of the most difficult to achieve and excel. Recall that in ancient traditional theatre there was comedy and there was drama. Comedies aren't always lighthearted and full of slapstick. Now I know you said the actors weren't a concern in themselves but in how PJ will utilize them. I am paraphrasing of course but I believe this is what you meant.

Obviously some of the comedic choices have been weak or tasteless. Radagast and the Great Goblin come to mind as examples. Now these are valid concerns but the way you phrased the question didn't connect these concepts and led to miscommunication. In this manner I understand then your question. I don't know if PJ will use actors with comedic talent for more slapstick and vulgar humor. I do think that PJ will use these actors to create banter and realism between the character cast. The slapstick will just be a byproduct of PJ's theatric tone found throughout all his movies including the overtly serious LOTR trilogy.


Ataahua
The Kraken / Moderator


Apr 9 2013, 11:59pm

Post #48 of 105 (312 views)
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Thanks Daniel. :) / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Mahtion
Cabin Boy

Apr 10 2013, 12:21am

Post #49 of 105 (315 views)
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Small correction to my above post [In reply to] Can't Post

I had intended to write Comedy and Tragedy instead of Comedy and Drama when referring to the ancient traditional forms of theatre.


Finrod
Rigger


Apr 10 2013, 12:46am

Post #50 of 105 (339 views)
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Audacious perspiciousness [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Stephen Fry and Billy Conolly actual have more 'serious' dramatic acting experience than Freeman, which makes for a nonsensical argument if one is concerned about comedians being cast in The Hobbit, one has to include Freeman in that tooCrazy

Pardon me, sir, but I believe your perspicacity is showing. ;}

…all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
The Silmarillion, pp 150-151
while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.
The Lays of Beleriand, p 311



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