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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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Ziggy Stardust

Apr 10 2013, 12:55am

Post #51 of 105 (951 views)
I don't mind Fry, however, [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm concerned about Connoly. As you said, he openly ridiculed Tolkien fans, has no interest in The Hobbit, why bother? Jackson could easily get someone else who won't ridicule Tolkien fans, and has interest in it. And while Colbert can be funny, I'd rather he stay on Comedy Central and not be in [iThe Hobbit. My 2 cents.

Grey Havens

Apr 10 2013, 12:58am

Post #52 of 105 (957 views)
Asked And Answered [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Username4242: If their being comedians has no bearing on their ability to effectively portray serious roles (as you said!), why would you make this post?

I already explained why. Refer to my previous post.

You folks continue to mistakenly combine the issues.

(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Apr 10 2013, 1:01am)


Apr 10 2013, 1:06am

Post #53 of 105 (937 views)
He can have interest in the acting for acting's sake... [In reply to] Can't Post

While not having any interest in the broader fiction universe itself. He would not take the job if he had no interest in playing the character... it's not like he's short on cash.

If he does the job well, and portrays it in an effective manner, then I can't begin to care what his thoughts on Tolkein fandom are.


Apr 10 2013, 1:43am

Post #54 of 105 (970 views)
Dain isn't funny . . . The Master? Arguable. The Goblin King? Again, arguable, but I [In reply to] Can't Post

think the Dame, Edna by name, did a wonderful job. Certainly Bilbo and several of the dwarves are quite comic at various points in the book.

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.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Apr 10 2013, 3:21am

Post #55 of 105 (936 views)
The most important thing that we know about Dain [In reply to] Can't Post

is that he does not kill Azog at Azanulbizar. That in itself will affect how his character is presented quite a bit.

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

The Hall of Fire

Grey Havens

Apr 10 2013, 3:33am

Post #56 of 105 (927 views)
You forgot one ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Martin Freeman, from the Golden Globe winning comedy TV series "The Office", and roles in the comic films "Love Actually", "The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and "Nativity!"

Superuser / Moderator

Apr 10 2013, 3:39am

Post #57 of 105 (899 views)
Hmm, good point. / [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 Sauron’s 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

Tol Eressea

Apr 10 2013, 4:02am

Post #58 of 105 (905 views)
Cumbersmaugs and... [In reply to] Can't Post

Smauglocks have infested the web (especially Deviantart and tumblr) since fandom learned of the casting for Hobbit: DOS... suddenly there were dragons everywhere sporting purple scarves...

...and Watson stopped shaving his feet, lost his shoes, and went for a very long walk....

Go outside and play...

Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 10 2013, 4:41am

Post #59 of 105 (917 views)
Well, let's see... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Stephen Fry is a friend of PJ's, and has been working with him for years writing the script for the Dambusters movie Peter has on the back burner. Even though Stephen may have made his name doing sketch comedy, he does so many other things brilliantly I for one don't think of him as primarily a comedian (I don't think of him as primarily anything, except brilliant and talented). Be that as it may, few people can play pompous, obnoxious and unctuous as well as he can - which, frankly, I have always thought were qualities the Master was likely rich in. How over-the-top the character becomes is ultimately PJ's call, not Stephen's.

2. Don't know much about Billy Connolly, but I doubt Dain is really going to be comic relief, certainly not any more than the other dwarves have been. Why bring a buffoon in to take over the kingship after what they're clearly setting up as the heartbreaking demise of Thorin? I think he was cast for his looks, his build, and his voice.

3. I didn't see much of Dame Edna's trademark comedy in the Goblin King - but I suspect it was the voice talents that PJ was primarily after there, and got. From the way the part was written, the theatricality of the character was the decision of the writers, and they cast for what they wanted. Not my favorite portrayal, but admittedly a very different take on a race that hitherto has been shown as rather lacking in personality and language skills.

4. Figwit owes his casting entirely to his face. He was cast in a blink-and-you'll miss it 3-second cameo, and when fans here noticed him (and fell in love and created a website out of no information at all), PJ thought it would be fun to give him a line in ROTK, and now a name and a whole scene to himself in AUJ. Figwit is in large measure TORN's creation, and most of his fans hadn't the faintest idea about Flight of the Conchords until the Figwit phenomenon was well underway. At the beginning, nobody even knew his name, much less what he did when he wasn't being pretty in the background. So the fact that he also knows how to be funny has nothing whatsoever to do with his casting in this movie.


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."


Apr 10 2013, 8:07am

Post #60 of 105 (885 views)
Well... I got what you asked so I am a little confused and not sure who the one is with the "knee-jerk reactions". [In reply to] Can't Post

After all, we are here to discuss and I certainly did not simply want to reject your question with my earlier answer. Apologies if it came across like this. :)

You say yourself that those actors can do serious roles. I guess, they had the presence that PJ and Co wanted for their respective roles and did something "right" in their auditions/readings or earlier work that seemed fit to the filmmakers for the roles they had to offer. Whether it was their comical talent that got them hired is something we do not know.

On another page is the question about in what "comical" situations PJ might have put them, for example the testicle eating. But we have not really seen anything of that, yet.

As I said in my earlier post, I can see Fry - for example - bringing a real (sometimes un-intendedly comical) "political" feel to the role which he certainly is in the book... more so than most other Tolkien characters, at least. With un-intendedly comical politicians I mean the likes of Silvio Berlusconi or Boris Johnson (of course, it is always arguable whether it is truely un-intended or part of an agenda).

As for Billy Connolly, all I have seen from him indicates yet again an actor with a very strong presence who can be memorable even given only a small amount of screen-time. And I guess Dain will be one of those characters who comes into the game very late but should still become a distinct character and not just another dwarven lord.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Apr 10 2013, 8:10am)


Apr 10 2013, 10:02am

Post #61 of 105 (881 views)
JWPlatt [In reply to] Can't Post


''You folks continue to mistakenly combine the issues''.

Laugh if at least one person 'gets it' then thats ok by me.


Apr 10 2013, 11:45am

Post #62 of 105 (860 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

... several people by now got that you did not want to imply that those actors cannot do serious roles, but that you have a bigger issue with too much comedy or whimsical stuff in the movies. And several people have tried to give arguments, why they either believe those characters won't/might not be comical or why they will/might work being a bit comical. Or why those actors might have been chosen in the first place.

So I am just not sure about what I am allowed to post here without being accused of "not getting it".


Apr 10 2013, 12:07pm

Post #63 of 105 (866 views)
I will try one last time to be clearer [In reply to] Can't Post

after that I give up.
1. do I think comedians are capable of serious acting. answer. yes.
2. do I like the previous work of Fry Connolly etc. answer. yes
3. do I think that the Master, Dain should be comedic characters. answer. no
4. do I think PJ will make them comedic. answer. yes otherwise why choose lots of comedians.
5. am I worried about this subliminal 'message' about comedy where comedy shouldnt be. answer. you're darn tootin I am.
6. why am I worried when I havent seen the film yet. answer. snot, belching, gross out poo hats need I say more.
7. do I think snot,belching poo hats are appropriate, answer. nope.
8. do I want 'funny moments with Dain. answer. they had better not dare, he becomes the King Under The Mountain I want dignity not more pig sleds and fake hearty quips.
thats me done.


Apr 10 2013, 12:27pm

Post #64 of 105 (858 views)
And this is all fine. [In reply to] Can't Post

Others have said why they disagree or agree. Besides those who indeed misunderstood you.

But that is why I do not get your snappish tone in most of your posts in this thread, especially after some people like DanielLB or Mahtion elaborated on their views.

So there is someone fearing that this casting may indicate more of the humour that same person already did not like in AUJ. Perectly fine. After a misunderstanding was cleared up, others have stated why they think this might not be the case ot why this might not be too bad. Also fine - a normal discussion.

You do not have to let yourself be called silly or whatever, I agree with that and understand your reaction towards that post.

But after others have tried to come up with logical answers and responses to your question, your reaction still is "people don't get me" and "after that I give up".

Sorry, but in that case I wonder who it actually is that brings "knee-jerk" reactions to this thread.


Apr 10 2013, 12:42pm

Post #65 of 105 (860 views)
Pre-emptive negativity is fairly imprecise [In reply to] Can't Post

and "consistent pre-emptive negativity" sometimes gets generalized by readers to the simplified "assumed negativity" to save the time in reading the same negative comments over again, or by people who may not favor negativity and might skim a post to simply verify the assumed negativity and move on to other posts.

I am not worried about humor being in TH:DOS or TH:TABA since humor was employed so expertly in the book itself. I feel that this is one of the factors that puts TH over LOTR for me as books. I think that the presence of actors with proven records in making people laugh can be used to help everything from script-writing contributions/suggestions to editing of all characters - not just their own individual roles. I also think it would be fine if characters like Dain and the Master of Laketown have some humorous aspects / moments. I do think the next two movies will be darker, but the soul of The Hobbit is filled with humor and characters that are not quite so perfect and important that you can't laugh at them anymore. It is a significant difference between TH and LOTR and I see no sense in eliminating this particular difference because of general expectations that PJ should be filming LOTR 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 instead of filming The Hobbit. I want it to be like The Hobbit and where that is consistent with being like LOTR then fine, but where it is different but still film-able (i.e. I agree with changes that add more dialogue and detail), it should retain its own identity.


Apr 10 2013, 12:49pm

Post #66 of 105 (852 views)
We've all answered number 4. [In reply to] Can't Post

Over, and over again. From my seat, you are contradicting yourself. You suggest that comedians can play serious roles, but you also think that just because a comedian has been hired, means the character they play will now be full of comedy.

That isn't the case.

Not all comedic actors play comedic roles. But all comedic roles are played by actors.

Just because someone who has had a comedic role in the past doesn't mean their Hobbit character will also be a comedic role.

That's the answer to your question. And that is what 99% of people here have said. You've had plenty of replies.


And we can't judge The Master or Dain without actually seeing a performance.

And for number 7 - that's strange. All the characters that did this were played by "normal" actors....

(This post was edited by DanielLB on Apr 10 2013, 12:59pm)


Apr 10 2013, 1:16pm

Post #67 of 105 (848 views)
Arannir [In reply to] Can't Post

Snappish is my default mode. Evil


Apr 10 2013, 1:20pm

Post #68 of 105 (829 views)
Escapist [In reply to] Can't Post

what you mean is. you are generally a grump, people expect grump, and you generally give em grump, grump is what you do. answer. yep grump is one of my default modes.

I love humour, I love the humour in the book, I love humour in the LOTR films, I dont however appreciate the gross out humour displayed in AUJ . I dont trust PJ not to give us more of it in DOS.


Apr 10 2013, 1:23pm

Post #69 of 105 (830 views)
Daniel [In reply to] Can't Post

contradicting myself? yep its irritating isnt it? as the Italians say 'e piů forte di me'. Crazy


Apr 10 2013, 1:34pm

Post #70 of 105 (824 views)
As tricky as it may be, [In reply to] Can't Post

I am actually trying to speak in generalities and avoid making specific comments about specific people. Call me hallucinogenic if you like, but I really do believe it is possible to do that. So, I wasn't really saying that you are a grump. What I was describing was a general dynamic that any person could play into. Being aware of general dynamics can sometimes empower people to either stay stuck in them or step out of them - and this means all people that are part of the dynamic - not just any one person.

The humor in TH:AUJ was so diverse! For every bodily humor joke, there was a subtle comment from a wizard or the like that could easily slip under the radar.

Tol Eressea

Apr 10 2013, 1:35pm

Post #71 of 105 (832 views)
Figwit/Lindir related question... [In reply to] Can't Post

So are the characters played by Bret McKenzie all the same character, just named Lindir retroactively in AUJ? Or are they 2, maybe even 3, seperate characters?


Apr 10 2013, 2:19pm

Post #72 of 105 (803 views)
That's true [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the humour in AUJ – and much, much better than 'humorous' moments in LOTR, which fell flat on their faces to me and never made me laugh. (The 'nobody tosses a dwarf' moments in LOTR don't even make me smile.) The funny moments in AUJ do make me laugh or smile – particularly when it comes to the parts with Bilbo, and also the Dwarves.

I don't particularly like the 'burping' bits in AUJ personally, but they were minor moments that did nothing to detract from my overall appreciation of the film.

Superuser / Moderator

Apr 10 2013, 2:21pm

Post #73 of 105 (823 views)
It *is* rather ungracious though [In reply to] Can't Post

...to snap at people who are just trying to have a discussion in a thread you started. From what I've seen you *have* contradicted yourself and when people got confused by it, you blamed *them* of all things. One or two people may have called your comments silly because of the contradictions, and one person's comments were removed because they went overboard to you. But, it also comes across as very insulting and overboard to others to constantly snap out 'you don't get it,' implying that most of the people polite enough to reply to you aren't smart enough to get it. I'm afraid saying 'that's just my nature' is no excuse for the frustration bordering on rudeness I've seen you display to almost everyone in this thread.

You've done plenty of 'snapping' in this thread while, to their credit, almost no one has 'snapped' back illustrating that it is possible to carry on this discussion without it. So, please find a way to express yourself without blaming others if they need further clarification or this thread will be locked.

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, 2:25pm)


Apr 10 2013, 2:26pm

Post #74 of 105 (809 views)
Fantasy Films with Comic Actors [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
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.

- Willow
- The Princess Bride
- Stardust
- Big Trouble in Little China
- Time Bandits (as mentioned by your self)

I'm sure that with more time and effort I could come up with a few others.

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


Apr 10 2013, 3:07pm

Post #75 of 105 (803 views)
Since we're all here for a conversation ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Care to un-contradict yourself?


For what it's worth ... these characters probably *will* have some humour added to them. But not for the reasons you've stated.

What do you think about my previous comments? Care to comment on them? Do you think one should wait and see?

P.S. I don't speak Italian. That will probably need explaining to me too.

(This post was edited by DanielLB on Apr 10 2013, 3:09pm)

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