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‘Hobbit!’ ‘Elf!’ ‘Uruk-hai!’ ‘Rohan!’

November 26th, 2003 · No Comments

A couple days ago, Anita Rowland blogged about listening to Peter Jackson’s commentary on The Two Towers, and how what was uncovered at the site of Sutton Hoo influenced the film’s depiction of Rohan. It was fun to look at the archaeological pictures and finds! We’ve been waiting to buy the DVDs but it sure sounds like it will be fun to watch the films again and see the added footage.

A date to The Return of the King may be the next on our Nights-that-Need-a-
Babysitter list – along with a sushi date, the symphony and Seattle webloggers meeting….

I didn’t read Tolkien as a kid. An uncle gave me the books, but I was more a fan of horses than Hobbits so I passed the set down to my brother. But I did read through the LOTR trilogy recently. As I was waiting for Elisabeth to be born, I realized I had run out of items on my to-do list. How I needed something to pass the time (she came ten days “late”)! Since seeing the first film, eight months earlier, when barely pregnant, I had thought about reading the books. So I picked up The Fellowship of the Ring out of my husband’s office. Ted still has his original set from his childhood. Somewhere in the midst of the trilogy, I gave birth to a baby, and I continued reading the books through the late night nursings. But I must confess I don’t remember too much, must be due to all that sleep deprivation. It was wonderful amusement for the first month of post-partum and kept me quite awake at nights! I remember enough of Return of the King to want to see it!

So the other day, as Anita had posted about Two Towers, I indulged myself in reading the Newsweek stories about the movies. Secrets of the King was a fun read – interesting to learn about the cast salary negotiations and more about Peter Jackson, as a person, a pyromaniac who holds Roman candles in his hands. I also peeked a bit at the list of scenes that were cut – again, ah, we’ll just have to wait for the DVD to see it all!

What was most fun to read were the links to older Newsweek interviews from 2001. My favorite was the one with casting director Miranda Rivers :

We had a huge filing systems of people who were interested. We had A-list people who we’d ring first off and then B-list and then C-list and D-list and E-list—and by then it was like, “So, have you got a cousin? Have you got a friend? Have you got anyone?” By the end, we had a sign on the door that I liked: IF YOU’RE BREATHING, YOU’RE BOOKED.

By the end, we were just these casting machines. It also became a gag for us. We had no personal lives anymore. We would walk down the street, and people were not people, they were types: I’d be going, ‘Hobbit!’ ‘Elf!’ ‘Uruk-hai!’ ‘Rohan!’ I got a lot of elves off the street.

I can imagine how intense that must have been, of the “casting machines” calling out “Hobbit!” “Elf!” as they walk down the street…and that picture provokes the question: which one would you be?

I don’t think I’m tall enough to be an elf or Uruk-hai (5’10” requirement) and I hope I’m not roundy enough to be a hobbit….so where would that leave me?

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