March 6-8, 2020
From The Shire to Middle-earth to Sydney, Elijah Wood’s epic journey to Australia for Supanova was met with a stack of questions about not only Frodo Baggins, but Sin City, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and more.
Here are just a few highlights from his panel.
“I don’t know that they were for everybody. Had they been released theatrically, it might have been a little too much for people. I mean, they’re really long; 30-40 minutes longer than the theatrical cuts, so there’s just no world in which that would have been possible.”
“Working with Andy Serkis and Gollum was a real treat. He built that character from the ground up, and getting to see him onset [and] embody a character that wasn’t physically there, but physically doing it, was just astonishing, and he really poured all of his heart and soul and physicality into that character.”
“My favourite experiences were often in the south islands [of New Zealand]. It’s less populated and more stunningly beautiful. It’s also where we went to the top of a mountain. We shot a scene on this snow-covered mountain – that’s probably one of the standout memories. Prior to that, I’d never been in a helicopter before, and I’d certainly never flown up to the top of a mountain in costume to walk with the Fellowship. It was just so surreal and yet it was also so real.”
“Both in regards to filming and also the final film, I would say the Fellowship of the Ring. I loved making all of them, obviously, but there was just something so special about the brief time that the Fellowship got to be together… anytime the four hobbits got to be together it was ridiculously fun.”
“It was a great deal of pressure; it was not lost on me, the responsibility of bringing a beloved literary character to life. For someone who did understand that responsibility, I took a very unorthodox approach and I sort of stopped consulting the books at a certain stage. As I dug into the novels, it was like passing out focus in two different directions, because I was trying to read and digest the novels, while simultaneously trying to develop who this character was and doing this accent work and doing all this physical training. At a certain point, I had to let the book go and trust my instincts, and also trust Peter [Jackson] and the world around me that I would be steered in the right direction if I was at all heading off.”
“It’s riffing on [Douglas Adams’] tone as established in his books. It’s dangerous ground when you adapt work, and it’s very difficult to adapt his work. It doesn’t really work on screen as a direct adaptation… we all understood that the essence of what we were doing was very much inspired by Douglas Adams, but that we were paving our own way with new characters.”
“I think it’s even more not going to happen now, unfortunately. It felt like we were just getting started in a lot of ways. Especially at the end of the second season with the actual agency. It feels like there’s something here – we’ve got a team and there will be other cases. We’re pretty gutted and there’s zero chance of that happening now.”
“I still get nervous about a big chunk of dialogue. I’ll stress out about it and fixate on it, like, ‘Ohhhh, that scene.’ I kind of do the same thing every time, it’s kind of just repetition, so reading it over and over again, highlighting my lines out, which the act of doing that somehow commits [it to] memory. I’ll read them, not look at the page and try and run through all of my dialogue without looking.”
“The audition for that was really funny. I basically sat and stared at the camera while Robert [Rodriguez] just read passages from the book, because I don’t say anything. That was fun, it was very liberating, it was super physical. All of Kevin’s stuff was done in two days because it was all on green screen. They had very few sets on that film because it was all fabricated in that comic book style, so it was very quick, in and out. I didn’t even work with Mickey Rourke – it was his double as he’d already finished everything.”
Lead image: Elijah Wood at Supanova Sydney. Pic by Ewan Ly.