Since the Lord of the Rings epic production wrapped just before Christmas, the stars of the show have spent the intervening period recovering at home. But two were eventually tempted out to last night’s Empire Online Awards, and the Empire Online team were quick to pounce on them and force out as much information as possible about the cinematic trilogy.
John Rhys-Davies, who plays the Dwarf Gimli, in the movie, couldn’t stop enthusing about the project. ‘It’s going to be the biggest film series of all time,’ he told us. ‘The casting, present company excepted, is remarkable, just extraordinary. You look at each of these people and think “I know exactly who that is”.’
Peter Jackson in particular was singled out for praise. ‘I’ve never met or worked with a director with a more comprehensive artillery of qualities for a big project like this than Peter Jackson. Someone should give him a medal pretty damn quickly.’
Gimli’s co-star Billy Boyd, who plays Hobbit Pippin Took, was equally keen to tell us how brilliant the filming experience had been. ‘It was amazing. To be in New Zealand for a year and a half is incredible. And to be filming in places that not only had never been filmed in, but where you would think nobody’s been for hundreds of years – to be helicoptered on the tops of mountain. I mean, no acting required! It was just an incredible journey.
Even the dialogue, it seemed proved no problem. ‘It’s a heightened dialogue, because it’s a different world. A lot of it was taken from the book – so it’s incredibly well written and Fran and Phillippa and Peter who adapted it for the screen have done a great job. They kept going back to the book as well as inventing some stuff to make it more of a movie experience.’