Elijah Wood Speaks About His Work On ‘The Hobbit’ – “It Was A Gift To Go Back & Return”
While on the promotional campaign for the TV series ‘Wilfred,’ Elijah Wood shared some info with Collider about his work on Peter Jackson’s two-part movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit.’ In the two films, Wood is reprising his role of Frodo Baggins from Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series. In that trilogy, the actors of “The Fellowship” – Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood – all got a the same tattoo to commemorated their experience, with the exception of John Rhys-Davies, whose stunt double got the tattoo instead. With that in mind, Wood was asked whether he did anything to commemorate his experience on ‘The Hobbit,’ “It was too short. My involvement is so small. It was a gift to go back and return. I was in Hobbiton again, for the first time in 11 years. I turned 19 in Hobbiton. I’m 30 now. That put a lot of things into perspective. It was beautiful. It was just beautiful to go back. I only worked a small amount when I was there. I was there for a month, and the majority of my time was just going to set every day and meeting a lot of the new cast members and catching up with old friends and being in Wellington again. It feels like home, and those people feel like extended family to me. It was such a treat to go back. It was awesome!”
On the topic of the technological advancements of filming, and shooting ‘The Hobbit’ movies with 3D cameras that shoot 48 fps, Elijah Wood had the following to say, “The thing that’s great about The Hobbit is that, returning to that space, it’s largely the same group of people who had made The Lord of the Rings – a lot of the same crew members and creative heads of departments, and stuff. I was definitely aware of the fact that there were more trucks now and more trailers, and the production feels larger in scale. On a technological level, obviously that’s a huge part of it, as well. But, at the end of the day, it’s still the same group of people, making it very much in the same spirit as The Lord of the Rings, so that intimacy and that family aspect on set is still the same….”
Wood continues, “It’s still filmmaking. It’s still approaching it from the same perspective. One just happens to be on a much larger scale. But, it’s pretty cool. The technology is amazing. It’s funny, you suddenly just accept things. I suppose I’ve been working for a long time, so I’ve seen all kinds of filmmaking. I can fit into anything, and it doesn’t feel that weird or that fascinating. For instance, I was on set for The Hobbit, in Peter’s little tent where he has the monitor that he watches, you’re watching it in 3D. That is amazing, but at the same time, you’re like, “Oh, okay, that’s what we’re doing here.” It’s an odd sense of just tuning into it and accepting it, but it’s totally amazing. And, it’s really cool to see the 3D on set, and to know what the images ultimately look like. The technology is so good now. I remember, years and years and years ago, video assist was really rudimentary and watching playback was so rudimentary. It only gave you a sense of what the image was really going to look like, especially when you were shooting on film and getting a video feed. Until you actually see dailies, you can’t see what the image looks like. Now, because The Hobbit is being shot digitally, we’re seeing a full HD image, in 3D, pretty much exactly as it’s going to look when it’s thrown up onto a big screen. That’s amazing! And, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. They can do a lot of the tweaking on the day, which is really cool.”
Reprising their roles from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies are Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast includes the likes of Martin Freeman, who’s taking on the central role of Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, and Aidan Turner. Check out the synopsis for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ below.
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
Under Jackson’s direction, both movies are being shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Filming is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. The screenplays for THE HOBBIT films are by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham. The executive producers are Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner, with Philippa Boyens serving as co-producer. THE HOBBIT films are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing being handled by MGM.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and Martin Freeman takes on the central role of Bilbo Baggins. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” movies are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.
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