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Getting to know William and Nicole Kircher

News from Bree

Dec 6 2013, 12:42am

Post #1 of 4 (109 views)
Getting to know William and Nicole Kircher Can't Post

Welcome to this months "Getting to know you" Q&A, this month we're talking to the amazing and wonderfully talented couple, William and Nicole Kircher.

Kelvarhin: Nicole, you're a wife, mother, singer and manager, how do you manage to juggle it all? What do you think of all the fan attention?

Nicole: My husband is in every sense of the word my partner. So he is my support and when I'm down and troubled he is there - I think those are lyrics of a famous song... Ah! James Taylor!. I love the fan attention because their enjoyment is what William works for.

Kelvarhin: William, how do you choose which roles appeal to you, and what was it about Bifur that made you accept the part?

William: I like playing characters that have a hidden agenda. It is the best fun to get inside a role that has depth and imagination. I have played quite a few policeman and I have played quite a few villains... so I've been on both sides of the law, so to speak! I like playing roles with authority, wit, irony, humanity and (when it is a villain) a sprinkling of reasoned cruelty. I accepted the role of 'Bifur' because to be chosen by one of the greatest Directors in the world to be part of this project was a life-changing experience. Who would turn down the chance to go down in history as one of the thirteen dwarves in The Hobbit ?

Kelvarhin: Has it been hard on either of you as parents or your children with the success of The Hobbit and all the traveling and promoting of the film that you do?

Nicole: Our children have enjoyed their Dad being in the Hobbit immensely. As a family we are all very proud! It has been a little bit hard on our two kids at home when we have to travel a lot. Only because they have (so far) not been able to come along. BUT we are going to pay them back with a trip to Los Angeles next year. It has to be said they also have great adventures here at home in New Zealand as we have big sisters, inlaws and friends all helping out!

Kelvarhin: Nicole, you have such a dynamic personality, high energy and warmth about you, have you ever considered acting along with William?

William: I would love that because Nicole is a great actress.

Nicole: Well those are lovely words, thank you... can I add excitable, intense and often inappropriate? LOL. You know, I have not considered acting with William. He has directed me over the years in cabaret-style theatre. I think I would like to do comedy with William. He is a very funny and talented comic actor.

Kelvarhin: How is it working together in a band?

William: Absolutely fantastic, sexy fun at times... tough and argumentative at times... but ultimately a rewarding and beautiful arrangement... (bit like marriage)

Nicole: I love it when the harmonies all come together - and I like the funny improvisations that happen between the Dreamers on stage and the audience, William manages to bring the beast out of me at times...sigh!

Kelvarhin: William, how do you build and prepare a character? Do you do research? Or take it from the script?

William: I glean all the cues that I can about the character from the script. I research like crazy... I take everything from the script and all other resource material that might be relevant to my character. I look at the journey of the character through the story and (my) relation to the other characters in the story... and the I work and work on developing my character. Then I rehearse as much as possible... before I walk on set!

Kelvarhin: How did the collaboration between the designers, weta, costume etc work in help in creating the character Bifur?

William: One of the most incredible things about working on the Hobbit is to have been associated with such an incredible group of Artists. The creative talent involved in these films is just astounding. 'Bifur' is the result of a group of incredibly talented individuals. The make-up design, the costume design... Richard Taylor and his team at Weta all working toward the same vision... and all very much under the creative guiding vision of Peter Jackson along with Fran and Phillipa. The most exciting thing of all is that my own actual, physical look was also part of this experience. They literally moulded 'Bifur' around my own face and body. A funny story, is that when I went in for my first make-up check with Peter King they shaved my black and white goatee off. It was a bit of a shock.. because I had the goatee for some quite a few years... and I thought this first meeting was just for a discussion. Directly after that I went over to Weta Studios and met with the design team and had lots of photos done etc. In that meeting I realised they were going to look at some of my own features and incorporate that into the character. When I got home I discussed this with Nicole... "they shaved my beard off... maybe I should send a photo of how my beard grows black and white!"... so I sent a photo and said "please forward this on to the design team". Months later when I was introduced to Bifur... I saw they had given him a 'salt and pepper' beard. I was so proud to see that he had my own colouring!

Kelvarhin: A few of the fans have asked how you both met?

William: We met while I was doing a tour of an incredible theatre show by John Godber called "Bouncers". The show sold out all around New Zealand. Nicole was working as a professional actress in a children's theatre company in a town called Hamilton. "Bouncers" came to her town and we played in the theatre that Nicole was working in. Nicole had been living in America and I thought she was a brash, loud young American... She was also (and still is) young and beautiful. She told me I made her laugh with my fake tap dancing and looked like a handsome Italian! We didn't mean to fall in love... but we could not keep away from each other. She also made me wait!!!

[caption id="attachment_66708" align="alignright" width="300"] Jed Brophy and William Kircher, fresh from playing Red Carpet Tours and TheOneRing.net's combined party two nights before, speak earnestly about their experiences acting on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.[/caption]

Kelvarhin: This is from Julie James at Red Carpet Tours, "Hi William and Nicole, we are so thrilled that you will be our guests at our Desolation Costume Party this December 11th. From your experience last year at the Premier Costume Party what was it like meeting the fans? Some people have have travelled from all around the world to be in Wellington for DOS and to meet you on the 11th Dec, how does this make you feel?"

William: It is very humbling to meet so many lovely people who appreciate the work you have done. I have done a few conventions around the USA and Europe this year... and the thing I have learnt the most... is how nice people are. I love the fans... lovely people... and I love the fact that they enjoy sharing and appreciating the passion that has gone into these films. I am really looking forward to seeing you guys on the 11th December at the Roxy!

Kelvarhin: What was the very first thought in your mind, when you first saw yourself in the mirror dressed as Bifur? And how did you feel when you first stood next to all the other fellow actors dressed as the Company of Dwarves?

William: It was the strangest experience... I had been working out for months losing weight... then they put it right back on me! My fat-suit did it's job very well... made me fat with a big butt! Actually the costumes were very cleverly designed to lower our centre of gravity and make us look smaller. So I looked in the mirror and thought with a shock "hold on... I look fat and short"... then of course I realised that was the whole point! When we all started together together in a group with our new faces and 'shapes' it was incredible... but even more amazing is that we started to identify with each other with our new faces. It became so normal, that when we saw each other with our 'real' faces... we took some time to adjust.

Kelvarhin: One of our message boarders is a neurosurgery professional and asked the following; Bifur particularly is close to my heart because of his specific brain injury. I think it was portrayed - once we grant the fictional survivability - so perfectly that I have a question about the research that went into the role. So I wonder, William did you get information from the production crew on the areas injured and the effects it would have, did you do your own research or a combination of the two?

William: The very first time that I saw the design for Bifur I was taken back for about 5 seconds. When I first saw that he had an axe buried in his head... I thought "uh oh"... but then... instantly I thought about it on a deeper level... I realised that, as an actor, this was fantastic. It gave me a whole range of material to draw on and build into the character. It was an Orc axe... so this gave me a history. Something violent and tragic had happened in Bifur's past. He and presumably his family had been the victims of an Orc raid. I also went straight home and started to research how an injury like that may affect a person. Ironically I found that this kind of injury can happen even now... and people survive. Check it out on the internet! That is how we came up with the idea that Bifur would only speak an ancient form of Dwarvish... that the frontal lobe injury he suffered, means that he has a form of "foreign language syndrome". I researched victims of strokes... and looked at how it affected their speech, movement and thought processes. Peter also wanted Bifur confused and "zoned out" at the start of the journey. Like he does not quite know where he is half the time!

Kelvarhin: Why does Bifur have an axe embedded in his head?

William: Hey... why not? Seriously though... Bifur and his family were the victims of an Orc raid many years before. The injury was so severe they could not remove the axe without killing him... so he had to learn to live with it. Look it up on the internet and you will see... it happens even now.

Kelvarhin: A lot of the gang asked can we see your band?

William: Yep here we are on You Tube

Kelvarhin: If you got the chance to meet J.R.R.Tolkien, what would you say to him?

William: I know that our film of The Hobbit has some differences from your amazing book but please understand that this is an interpretation of your story made for the visual medium of the cinema and you can rest assured that Peter Jackson's interpretation of your book is made with passion, with true heart, and with utmost love for your original story.

Kelvarhin: What kind of music do you both like?

William: : I love rock.. I love blues... I love Jazz... I love classical music

Nicole: I like Rock,Blues, Pop, Folk, Drum & Base, and Techno-Swing.

Kelvarhin: During the filming, were there any moments that were pure joy or sheer terror, or total confusion? What was your favourite location shoot, and your favourite set?

William: During the filming there were many moments of pure joy... moments of sheer terror and moments of total confusion! We really went through all the experiences you see in the film!

My favourite location was 'Paradise' in Glenorchy close to Queenstown in the South Island (Google it!)... There were many, many favourite sets... and Beorn's house was one of my personal favourites.

Kelvarhin: Can you tell us the history of your band, California Dreamers, and what instruments they all play, and what kind of music, and why, and how often?

William: Nicole is a professional vocalist and the California Dreamers is her baby. She is really the musical director for the group. The band started out ten years ago (wow... ten years ago!) as a tribute to the Mamas and the Papas. Nicole soon realised that there was an incredible wealth of music from the late-60's era... and also it marked a massive worldwide change brought about by the whole 'Hippie - Flower Power' movement... and to a great degree this was lead by the music! So the band moved into a celebration of music from that time... mid 1960's through to early 70's, we love exploring the era, amazing music was generated through experimental drugs and the transformation of musical styles meshing together. I came into the band about five years ago. We are a vocal group and do a lot of four-part harmonies... we have a fantastic guitarist and also work with backing tracks. The California Dreamers play regularly for Wineries, Festivals, Corporate Events... On December 15th we are doing an outdoor concert "Hippie Christmas in the Park".

Kelvarhin: Just have to ask you grammaboodawgs favourite question, "what was your favourite cartoon to watch when you were youngsters?"

William: Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck ("It's Duck Season... It's Rabbit Season!!!)

Nicole: {hard to pick one so here's a few} Foghorn Leghorn, The Pink Panther, Puffinstuff, Sigmund The Sea Monster, Pepe Le Peu, all the Disney films!

Kelvarhin: In the Bag End scene, just when a fight breaks out around the table, we see Bifur demonstrating with his hands, almost like he's twisting something. Can you please explain what he was doing?

William: Bifur is communicating in a form of secret Dwarvish sign language. He is talking to himself.

Kelvarhin: Can you say a little about filming the mo-cap troll scene and was it as fun for you and Peter Hambleton and Mark Hadlow to do as it was for us to watch?

William: Filming the Troll scene was incredible fun. It was four intense days of working closely with Peter Jackson in the motion capture studio... we improvised a lot of gags together... had a lot of laughs... incorporated a lot of physical comedy... kind of like the Three Stooges! We decided that Tom was the snotty, weedly Troll that the others always picked on... yet he was also sneaky and cruel. When we first were working on developing these characters with Terry Notary (our movement coach) Andy Serkis came along and helped out with direction... one thing he said really worked for me. He said to "think about what injuries they may have"... so I tied sandbag weights around one arm and one ankle... I gave myself a dead arm and a dead leg... and incorporated this into the movement for the character.

Kelvarhin: With the huge commitment of time involved with filming The Hobbit did this ever make either of you baulk at all?

William: Nope. It was a dream job for an actor.

Kelvarhin: In that theme, I'd love to ask Nicole about having fun with other Hobbit wives, and ask both of you if it would have been a harder decision to take the role if it hadn't been being filmed in your home country?

Nicole: We have great fun together, we enjoy sharing stories like any group of women. We love sharing meals and wine - our next gathering we are all reading a book beforehand and so we'll talk about that - we like to help each other out, keep our minds open, and support each other in our unusual Hobbit Dwarf Wives Club!

William: No it would not have been hard to make a decision to take the role if I had been in another country... this is one of the biggest films in history!

Kelvarhin: We've heard rumours of a future role for William in LA. What would you think about living short- or long-term in California?

William: We love our old house on Wellington Harbour... we live right on the sea and everyday is an adventure (especially when the weather is bad, I have a manager in Los Angeles and I have to be prepared to travel for the job. We have been spending more time in LA looking for work opportunities...and we love it there, so when the right opportunity comes along we'd love to stay there for short or longer term. New Zealand will always be our spiritual home.

Kelvarhin: What is it like to step into a world that has been so loved by fans for so many years?

William: An honour, a huge responsiblity... but ultimately the satisfaction that all involved have done the best of their ability to bring his story to life on film.

[caption id="attachment_84085" align="alignright" width="300"] The smell awakens Smaug! :D[/caption]

Kelvarhin: Do you look forward to seeing yourself turned into a statue by Weta to have on your shelf at home?

William: Heck yes! and not yet!

Kelvarhin: And a final question from Demosthenes "Williams thoughts on dragon poo. (it must exist, surely?)"

William: Pure gold!


I'd like to thank William and Nicole for taking part this month, it has been truly wonderful chatting to you both!

As always a big thank you to all our message board regulars, DanielLB, Brethil, dernwyn, SirDennisC, Lissuin, Ziggy Stardust, The Grey Elf and grammaboodawg, and Staffers, Thorongil, Demosthenes, greendragon and Elessar and the fans who emailed me their questions, Julie J, Deanna C, Tamara C, Rebecca W and Julia A for our questions this month.

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.


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Dec 8 2013, 7:28pm)


Dec 6 2013, 7:54pm

Post #2 of 4 (52 views)
Another great chat! [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all - thanks for getting this out Kel, and thanks to William and (the very, very lovely!) Nicole for chatting with us!

I really appreciate his answer re: my geeky neuro question. I had a big silly smile reading how enthusiastic he was doing research! (I'm sure he read up all about Gage and his story.) Fantastic amount of thought and heart that he brings to this role: what a perfect balance. Thanks William!!! (If I ever run into him I can tell him some interesting work tales too, which make most people run the other way or suddenly take a phone call...)

Such fun seeing that band video too - I love people who think a bit differently and their style is such a neat fusion. These two have so much talent and enthusiasm for life, its a pleasure to see.

Great post!!!!


The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!


Dec 8 2013, 2:54pm

Post #3 of 4 (45 views)
What a wonderful couple! [In reply to] Can't Post

So generous and funny :) I'd love to see California Dreamers and laughed as they talked about the music of the 60s and 70s since that's MY era! It's so great to have them celebrate that generation of music that is such a foothold for great music ever since!

William is so supportive of TORn. He donated his long-sleeved t-shirt Jackson gave to all the cast to our Fundraiser this last fall... and it sold for $1,000!!! THEN he wrote a letter to the winner that he included with the shirt when he shipped it out from NZ. Wow! Kircher helped TORn so much!

Thank you for this, Kel... Yet another fantastic interview :D

6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - November 28, 2013
2nd draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observation List - Novembe 28, 2013


"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!

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TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)

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Dec 9 2013, 12:03am

Post #4 of 4 (35 views)
Hobbit Dwarf Wives Club! [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL, what an insight into the behind-the-scenes life! And so many other "tidbits" - like them shaving his goatee first thing, oh gosh!

They are indeed such lovely folks. Thank you for this great interview, Kel!


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


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