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When a small group of other film journalists and myself traveled to New Zealand last year to visit the set of The Hobbit we had the wonderful chance to sit down Lilly for an extended interview to talk about Tauriel, the new Woodland Elf warrior character being introduced to Tolkien’s world.
As a member of The Fellowship of the Ring, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas was one of the most important characters in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The great Elf warrior from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels truly came to life and gave the series some of its best moments, armed with some sweet archery skills and an unlikely friendship John Rhys-Davies’s Gimli.
It was around this time last year that I got to tell you all about my trip down to Wellington, New Zealand to visit the set of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. I wrote about watching the director at work putting together the pieces of the massive production; the incredible work going on in the makeup, costume and visual effects departments; how to tell the film’s surprising number of dwarves apart; and what it was like to talk to Gandalf himself. And yet that still wasn’t the whole story.
It was a strange thing to wake-up and immediately be thankful not to have a hangover, but the truth is that I had done my part to earn one the night before. One of my best friends and colleagues, Silas Lesnick of ComingSoon.net, and I were staying at the National Park Backpackers hostel in the Tongario National Park and upon meeting a few fellow travelers at a bar we found ourselves consuming pitcher after pitcher of beer.
It’s hard to even fathom the idea of Peter Jackson making The Hobbit without Ian McKellen. Beyond the fact that Gandalf plays an incredibly important role in J.R.R. Tolkien’s first novel, McKellen’s performance in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy was nothing short of iconic and he was a major part of what made the movies so iconic.
There are many complications that come with adapting J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit for the big screen, and the group of dwarves at the center of the story. For those uninitiated, the novel follows Bilbo Baggins as he travels with a band of 13 dwarves to the Lonely Mountain so that they can steal their great treasure back from the monstrous dragon Smaug.
This past May I joined a group of fellow journalists to travel to New Zealand to visit the set of The Hobbit, and in between takes Jackson was kind enough to find a few minutes to talk about his latest epic endeavor. Over the course of our discussion we had the opportunity to broach a number of subjects, including embracing advancements in filmmaking technology, finding the reality in Middle Earth...
Set visit embargoes are a funny thing. While we here at Cinema Blend often get the chance to fly around the world and watch movies as they’re being made, in most cases the trips come with enforced non-disclosure agreements that force us to remain absolutely silent about what we’ve seen or where we’ve been until an undisclosed date.