The Hobbit's Martin Freeman On Why Iconic Characters Don't Intimidate Him

By Eric Eisenberg 2012-10-29 15:36:49discussion comments
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Knowing that you were such a fan favorite for the role of Bilbo for such a long time, do you feel any sort of extra pressure? Knowing that, basically there was a fan campaign in place to get you.

There was, but I have enough faith in Peter to know. I know that he's-- 'Cause he's said to me about other things he's done, where he's taken maybe too much notice of what was going on on the internet, and actually been given a bum steer. And I think he's learned from that. We can all look on the internet and go, "He hates me! Oh, but she loves me. Oh, but he hates me...", you know. And that way, madness lies. So I think yeah, it's very nice, it's gratifying that people wanted me to be in it. But they didn't get me the job.

It was such a long shoot every year, and you did some of this, went to Sherlock, and then came back? Was it a challenge getting back into the character?

Kind of. But again, it's part of the reason that I think that we're all actors. Those of us who are actors, or just self-employed, or doing what you do, you don't know what you'll be doing for the next however many months or years of your life. Literally, you'll be doing this and then you'll be doing that, but all within something that you love, and in a world you love. So it's a challenge, but it's just a joy.

Talk a little bit about the advance in technology, you guys are doing it in 48 frames a second, you're shooting in 3D. Can you talk about your take on the 48 frames a second, and also on the 3D?

I have no opinion on 48 frames a second at all. I'd be completely unsuitable to talk about that. I was on record before I did The Hobbit, saying I don't care at all about 3D. And I suppose I should now say I care a lot about 3D. I've always loved 3D, I think everything should be 3D, and I think it's just a shame The Godfather wasn't in 3D. I think as long as it's-- And again, here is where one has to trust Peter's taste as a film-maker. If it's used as a gimmick, or if it's used as-- Again, that line from Jurassic Park, that Jeff-- It sounds like I'm obsessed with Jeff Goldblum, I'm not. Where his character says, "We got so carried away, we're doing something just because we could, we never thought about whether we should." And that, for me, sums up my entire opinion on life, and technology, and so called advances of things. I have no problem with it at all, having seen a few films in 3D and having seen a bit of myself in 3D-- Yeah, it's fine, but it's not the story. And that's my genuine take on it, which will-- I think I may now be fired. But no, I'm not particularly committal or non-committal to 3D, because again, I did never watch The Godfather and go, "Do you know what this needs? This needs Fredo's hand coming out at you..." I think as long as it's used tastefully, and as long as it's used to enhance something, that's fine. But as soon as it becomes about-- If the medium is the message, then no. But I trust Peter. He's a pretty well-versed film-maker, and he's got a pretty good taste. So I hope it will just be something that is a great thing. "It's this, and it's also 3D, brilliant"; rather than, "Hmm, Christ. Yeah, but it was in 3D." I'm trusting and hoping, and there's about two-thousand people working to make sure that it's story first. And no one knows this world better than he does. And I wouldn't trust anyone else as much as him, to make this world happen, to make the world of Middle Earth happen. And that's very helpful for me, 'cause if ever I'm in choppy waters, thinking, "What do I do here?", then he's a pretty good sounding board for that.
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