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Getting to know Jed Brophy

News from Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Oct 6 2013, 9:38pm


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Welcome to this months "Getting to know you" Q&A, this month we're talking to the one and only, amazingly talented, and all round great guy, Jed Brophy.




Kelvarhin: You're known to be a big fan of the books of Tolkien, what is your favourite part or quote?

Jed: I think for me, my favourite is the story of Beren and Luthien from the Quenta Silmarillion. He writes a good love story does Mr J.R.R Tolkien.



Kelvarhin: I hear from Julie James of Red Carpet Tours, that you will be the MC at their Costume Party this December and also your band will be playing. What do you enjoy about these events and what are the fans like that attend?

Jed: Peter Jackson has always said we make these films for the people who watch them. I think the Fans are such an important part of the process, they are passionate about the subject matter and they are, on the whole, very smart people. I love that interaction from folk who love what we do. I love my job and so it is cool that they love the Job I do.

Kelvarhin: You and several of your comrades have joined TORn events and parties in the past. What have those experiences been like for you, and do you have anything that stands out when you think back on them?

Jed: The TORn Party for the Return of the King in LA was the best party I have ever been to. It rocked LA. Can they put on one better..only if they invite my band to play! xxjedi


Kelvarhin: How extensively have you travelled? Are there places you might recommend everyone visit - or stay away from? Any favourite travel anecdotes?

Jed: No anecdotes, no, but Iceland was cool and I absolutely loved going to the west coast Of Canada.

I have travelled a lot but to be honest...I live in Paradise...it is hard to compare any place to New Zealand on a good day.

Kelvarhin: Have you ever considered having a gallery showing of your photography work?

Jed: One day yea I will do an exhibition. I just need the time to collate. Someday soon though xx

Kelvarhin: What do you enjoy reading in your spare time - if indeed you get any spare time? We wondered if any comics or graphic novels have fallen under your umbrella of interest?

Jed: I really am more of a book Guy but love the work of Colleen Doran, and also all of the X-Men . That is on my wish list as well...to be in an X-Men film.

Kelvarhin: Continuing on from that question: what do you think of the way modern mythology is finding its way into our culture through comics and movies? Are we thoroughly in an age of "post-modern mythology" now?

Jed: Yes I do, I think once again and not since The Greek Armies trod a path of conquest, Mythology is part of Pop culture. It is a good thing, it stretches the Imagination, it fuels Ideology and reminds us of the Epic and Unrelenting Battle between Good and Bad. The parables in Pop culture are very nearly the same as they were 2000 years ago.



Kelvarhin:
How much of your personality is there in Nori? Taking all 13 dwarves into consideration, which (if any) would you liken your personality to?

Jed: I think there is a fair amount of me In Nori...there always is when you play a Character, the hard part is defining what is not alike. I am not a thief for instance, but certainly growing up I was a bit of a scoundrel, and not above trying to get away with naughty behaviour. Also I am a bit of a Gypsy and very happy being out on my own. I am also fiercely loyal to my family and friends, so those aspects I can relate to. Also my Irish roots can relate to having lost land and identity. I think in reality I am most like Nori...I think the director and his writers got the casting pretty spot on. Although I am a lot more verbose than Nori....I do like to tell stories.

Kelvarhin: OK, it has to be asked, because a lot of the fans asked: what did you think of that amazing Nori hair when you first saw it?

Jed: I have to admit I was a little taken aback. My concern was...how does he keep it looking so good? And If he has been living rough, would he care? But the Dwarves are very image conscious, especially amongst each other. There is a Pride element to them that other Races can't hope to understand. They were Leaders and Kings and had access to great wealth and prosperity, and that Pride runs deep within the ancestors of Durin.

However I fell in love with his look almost as soon as we started gathering as a group because it sets him apart from the crowd...shows his unique individuality, and as you will see, his hair and the stress and distress it undergoes, matches the trials the Dwarven group go through.

Kelvarhin: I've gotten the impression that filming The Hobbit was quite gruelling at times for the actors involved. Did you find that it required more physical preparation than other films/roles you've had?

Jed: Yes, without a doubt this is the toughest film physically I have ever been a part of. I am sure it is the same story for the Other Dwarves as well. We were lucky to be given so much time and help to get us to the fitness levels required for this shoot. I was lucky enough to train alongside Richard Armitage a lot during the early part of the shoot and again on location, and he inspired me to train the hardest I ever have for anything. He is so strong mentally and physically and like his character I felt compelled to follow him. Graham McTavish too. And the great team of Stunt performers, we all pushed each other to succeed. Myself and Mark Hadlow and Adam Brown occasionally trained together and that was great for our bonding.



Kelvarhin:
Did any of you--the Dwarves-- then have to go through additional "dwarf boot camps" for pick-up shooting, or did most of you continue a workout regimen in some form?

Jed: We all knew that when we came back for pickups we would be required to be ultra fit as we had lots of fighting to do. I think everyone kept the training up over the break. And we were straight back into Stunt training and Gym sessions when we returned. We knew by then that Peter would push us and so we had to be ready. Having said that there were days when it was very taxing. But oh so rewarding. I would do it all again tomorrow if asked. I think we all would.

Kelvarhin: What was your favourite part to film in An Unexpected Journey, and which scene took the most amount of takes?

Jed: I personally loved being in Bag End...because it is such an iconic part of the story. It was also the start we had been working towards for weeks. And there we were the company of Dwarves and two of the best actors on the planet, Sir Ian and Martin. Or rather Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. We all knew...this is it we are ON. Apart from that probably the Goblin caves...it was such a visceral scene...¦I love combat and there was plenty.

The most amount of takes? To be honest with you scene 88 when we were being pursued by Wargs seemed to go on for weeks.



Kelvarhin:
If you could swap characters with anyone in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, who would you be, and why?

Jed: As a young man growing up on a large farm I rode the hills pretending to be Aragorn I'm sure all young men dream they could be that cool So yeah, he for me is the ultimate Tolkien character. He has doubts and all but in the end he is willing to put aside his own wants for the good of mankind. Having said that there is only one Actor on the planet who can really do Aragorn justice, and that is the wonderful Viggo. He is and will always be for me....and I think I speak for all here, the one true Aragorn.

Kelvarhin: You have played a variety of characters in Peter Jackson's films. Do you have a favourite? Are there any other Tolkien races that you would like to act as or any that you wouldn't?

Jed: Of course I would love to say I have played them all, but it is not possible to be physically right for every race. A hobbit I am not...too lean. Do I have a favourite....Nori has become my favourite , because of the opportunity to once again visit the world I love so much. Before these films I probably would have gone with Snaga ...he was fun to flesh out. To be honest I love them all. Peter and Fran are such great writers and Directors, I have always had great characters thanks to them.

Kelvarhin: Following on from this, you filled several minor roles in The Lord of the Rings, a Nazgul, an orc and a few other roles. In The Hobbit, your role is more prominent. How does this make things different for you?

Jed: It was great being more part of the ensemble. And knowing I go right the way through. There is more at stake when you have to define a character through all three films. Also I was on almost everyday, and I love shooting, so it was awesome from that point of things. And of course I get to do the premiers and that is something I have never had the pleasure of being a player in. It is so cool seeing what these movies mean to the Fans. I am a great believer in Peter's view that it is the Fans we put the extra effort in for. We make these films for those who love the world as much as we do.

Also I had my own makeup and Prosthetic team, and so it was a team effort. I loved that every day I would go to work and see the company I belonged to...and when you have that close a bond on an everyday basis you start to mirror the story you are telling. That is unique to these type of epic story telling. We have become friends for life. Having said that, LOTR made me friends for life as well, but I didn't feel as part of the fellowship as I do In the Hobbit.

Kelvarhin: What was your favourite thing to do after a day of shooting, to relax?

Jed: Have a beer and a long bath. And then try and eat something. Long day meant often eating was something you knew you had to do rather than wanted to. But the bath was Important to ease the aches and pains.

Kelvarhin: What do you think GROND means?

Jed: Obviously it is the large Battering Ram used to break gates down, but what its roots are I am not sure.

Kelvarhin: Working with so many people/stunt/scale doubles at the same time, does it get terribly confusing?

Jed: No never confusing .If we were on then our scale doubles were not, .and my stunt double has been my stunt double since Rings so I know him very well. And nearly all the other Stunt performers are Men and Women I have worked with for years. They all walk and act differently to the actors in ways that we could tell. I do think it was confusing at times for the crew however and I know Al Smith my stunt double had various conversations with folk who thought he was me.





Kelvarhin: What was the hardest thing you had to do while filming (AUJ)?
Jed: As I said earlier the chase scene with the wargs, sprinting in full costume up hill and down dale and really sprinting, was hard. Then there was the wet set for the Stone Giant sequence. The rain and water added 40 kilograms to our already heavy costumes and so that was a tricky day for sure. I do not think anyone of the group would disagree that those two sequences in particular were challenging.

Kelvarhin: What were some of your first impressions, upon meeting the other actors?

Jed: I was in heaven to be honest. We were all so excited to be there and there were so many great Actors all in one place. I had spent time showing Adam Brown around my home city of Wellington and there were, of course, familiar faces, Ian and Andy in particular, who I had worked with before. It was like the first day at school and a bit like groundhog all rolled into one. I think we all knew we were a part of something very special and we were all vey humble to be asked to deliver on these Iconic Characters, but I personally felt in very safe hands. The Production Team had assembled a group of very skilled actors. I was, I have to say nervous to be in such esteemed company, but having worked with Peter and Fran and Phillipa before I knew I could deliver what they expected. That first meeting is etched in my memory for ever. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

Kelvarhin: Is there a particular role you've really wanted, but weren't cast in?

Jed: I have been close to getting parts I really wanted only a few times and it is always disappointing, but you have to learn to live with those missed chances. I always wish the actor I missed out to well.

I wouldn't want to single out any one instance, as that wouldn't be fair to the person who did get the role. You have to have faith in the casting process and move on. I have been so lucky to make a living doing what I love.





Kelvarhin:
If you could choose, what three actors would you really want to work with?

Jed: I would love to work with Johnny Depp. He is so eclectic. And of course Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. And would love to do a bad guy opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, I think he is just amazing. Oh that is more than three. One more, Richard Armitage! Anytime, any place, any part, I would be there.

Kelvarhin: Do you have other film projects coming up besides The Hobbit?

Jed: Yes I am due to Direct a short film for an Actor friend of mine in early December, and there is the feature film version of an Audio series called The Minister of Chance, which I am due to film next year. I am enjoying some downtime now because I have a theatre show in January which we start rehearsing next month as well, and who knows what is just around the corner.

Kelvarhin: Do you have a favourite food to eat while on set?

Jed: Not really although I need my protein. I do love a good steak sandwich. However I found it hard to eat while in makeup so really I only ate at meal times unless it was a protein smoothie.

Kelvarhin: If I recall correctly, you first started working with Peter Jackson on his cult horror-comedy Braindead and you've been involved in many of his productions. How do you feel that things have changed over the years? How is working with Peter different now? On the other hand, what's remained the same?



Jed: Peter's process is largely the same, but the technology he has developed has changed the way the entire set operates now. He still likes to give actors input, but still requires his vision is met. He has always worked Actors hard, but no harder than he works himself. He is still the generous but demanding Director I know from those heady early days of shoestring budgets. There is always a lot of humour on his sets, but also, an attention to detail and excellence. I still have the same relationship we have always had...a mutual respect. But of course there is a shorthand that develops when you work with someone a lot. I am pretty sure I know when Peter is about to give me a note and he very seldom has to tell me twice.

I think the thing that sets him apart from other Directors is his vision. He sees it all in his mind's eye, but then translates that to the end result so well. I have often said, and it remains true, there is no part big or small I would not do for Peter.

Kelvarhin: And as a follow-up to that, what do you miss about the Braindead days? And what don't you miss?

Jed: To be honest it is only the part where I would love to have known then what I know about the Industry now. I think back then I was not as disciplined in my approach to the work. And when you are younger the long days do not affect you so much. Otherwise ...not much.

Kelvarhin: How would you describe Peter's growth and evolution as a filmmaker- from the early days before and during LOTR, and now having finished shooting The Hobbit?

Jed: One of Peter's most significant strengths is his ability to surround himself with other very talented people. And he never stops learning about the new Technology. I think this is the area he has most grown in. His ability to find ways to solve seemingly impossible problems. It is the Team he has built around him, and the Loyalty he engenders.



Kelvarhin:
Having worked with Peter Jackson on a several of his movies now, sometimes with a lot of prosthetics and at least once riding a raging beast (a warg in TTT). Have you ever been in a situation on set when you have wondered what on earth you had gotten yourself into?

Jed: I think the only time I have felt that way was as one of the Black Riders. It was a very dangerous ride, and every take was slightly scary. However it is those moments when one feels most alive.

Kelvarhin: What do you like about working with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh?

Jed: They have called me one of their family of filmmakers. I treasure that. It is a gift to be able to have a working relationship like I have with my two favourite film makers. When you work for this formidable team you realise you are at the very top end of artistic achievement. I feel like the luckiest person here. They like you to have input and to love your Character, and they push you to be better every day.

Kelvarhin: You have done a lot in your movie career. Is there anything you haven't done and would love to do? Is there anything totally different that you'd love to try?

Jed: I have publicly said I am mad keen to be in a western I don't care where it is shot as long as it is a good script. I was born to be a cowboy and will be very disappointed if my dream does not come true.

Kelvarhin: How did you become involved with The Minister of Chance?

Jed: Dan Freeman the director and I became friends on Facebook and I loved the series, so asked him cheekily if he had any parts for a kiwi actor. He wrote me a part and we recorded it whilst I was in the UK for the royal Premier. As simple as that. I love it when you can cut through all the politics and just work with folk you admire.


Kelvarhin: What's the worst part of the makeup process?

Jed: The havoc it plays on the body probably. It is tiring wearing prosthetics all day. A type of lassitude that you can only relate to if you have worn it. I am lucky that my skin seems immune to the problems others have. Having said that the artists themselves do a very good job of keeping us all looking our best for after work functions. The makeup team are the very best in the business.

Kelvarhin: Do you have any rituals that you do before going on set?

Jed: A strong cup of coffee, and a bit of a laugh with the crew and other Actors....I love being on set so it is just the waiting I find hard.

Kelvarhin: I've heard that you are doing a two person play in the new year with your son. When and where will it start? Do you plan on taking it to the Edinburgh Festival? Do you hope to do more theatre work in the future?

Jed: Riley and I are doing a great little two hander called "An unseasonable Fall of Snow"By playwright Gary Henderson. He wrote a play I toured for about ten years and won a fringe first with at the Edinburgh Festival in 1998. That play had its world first at Bats Theatre here in Wellington. And we are performing this play there as well with the hope of a season in Edinburgh next year.

I love the theatre, and if you could make a decent living doing it here I would. I cannot wait to do this play with my son. He is a great actor and I will have to be on my game to keep up.

Kelvarhin: Was there a particular actor that inspired you to go into the business?

Jed: Not really I fell into the business rather than planned to be an Actor. Of all the New Zealand Actors of the time though I closely followed Sam Neill. He is the benchmark here in NZ.



Thank you Jed, for taking the time to talk to us this month. :)

As always a big thank you to all our message board regulars, DanielLB, Ataahua, Brethil, Rosie-with-the-ribbons, Rembrethil, The Grey Elf, dernwyn, grammaboodawg and zarabia, and Staffers, Demosthenes, MrCere, deej, Quickbeam and Elessar for our questions this month.

Also a big thank you to Julie J, Gothy (@LTGothmog), Bofurs Wife, Dane I, Tamara C and Deanna C who emailed questions through.

If you would like to ask any questions yourself, just head over to our Message Boards, the sign up process is pretty painless. A lead post for questions is made at the beginning of each month on the Main board, if you don't want to sign up to the boards just email me your questions at kelvarhin@theonering.net.











Till next time from TORn's resident Tiger.

Kelvarhin

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Oct 7 2013, 1:32pm)

Subject User Time
Getting to know Jed Brophy News from Bree Send a private message to News from Bree Oct 6 2013, 9:38pm
    Great interview Endor Dweller Send a private message to Endor Dweller Oct 7 2013, 6:18am
        Thanks Endor Dweller Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Oct 7 2013, 9:17am
    Jed B./Nori -- nice to meet you! The Grey Elf Send a private message to The Grey Elf Oct 7 2013, 1:32pm
        Sorry dear Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Oct 7 2013, 2:01pm
            Haha -- I just may!! // The Grey Elf Send a private message to The Grey Elf Oct 7 2013, 2:24pm
                ;-D // Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Oct 7 2013, 2:27pm
    Fabulous!! What a great visit!! :D grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Oct 8 2013, 2:01am
    What a fab interview! Thanks, Kel and Jed! // Kimi Send a private message to Kimi Oct 9 2013, 4:58am
    A great read! He's the best. Thanks Kel!!--and Jed!! // cats16 Send a private message to cats16 Oct 9 2013, 5:39am
    A giant THANK YOU for that terrific interview! // Tintallė Send a private message to Tintallė Oct 9 2013, 4:50pm
    What a fascinating interview! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 10 2013, 1:58am
    Finally got over here to read this Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 3:35am

 
 
 

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