Return of the King Press Junket, chud.com, December 5, 2003
And we're back with
round 2 from the massive Return of the King junket at the Four
Seasons a couple of weeks back in Beverly Hills. My "tape problems" have been
aided by some others in my room, so it looks like, yes, I'll be able to present
the full junket. Thank fucking Yorb.
chatting with the co-writer/producer/director of the film, Peter Jackson
himself, Sir Ian McKellen aka Gandalf and the hot young rising star out of the
film, Orlando Bloom who, of course, plays Legolas.
Finally today, we have the heartthrob of
heartthrobs, Orlando Bloom who has spent a lot of time - due to Pirates of
the Caribbean - with SJR's future lady-love, Keira Knightley. But...I don't
hold that against him.
The first thing we asked him if he thought this
was how his career was going to turn out following the films as he's in such a
different spot now. "No, you can't - who's to say how it's going to all pan out,
you know what I mean?" Bloom enthused. "But I'm very grateful to be working and
doing all of this stuff, this great stuff. I think what's most fortunate to me
about having worked on Lord of the Rings is it put me, it thrust me
straight into this forum, this great forum which, if I'd come into the movie
business on any other movie, it would have been very different. I would have had
to work my way up to this level of work that I'm getting and working in now.
Whereas I think because Lord of the Rings was such a critical and
financial and in so many ways a huge success. I think it sort of put me a few
rungs up the ladder. It gave me that much of a kick-start, a jump-start. And I
think that's been great."
As for whether he feels like he's the
"overnight sensation" that broke because of the films instead of, say, Astin or
someone else, Bloom demures. "I don't feel like it's been overnight, but it's
just because with the wig and stuff," Bloom joked. "It's just such an ensemble,
I feel like the star of this movie is this movie and what Peter Jackson has done
in creating it. You know, Peter Jackson is the star of this movie. I think the
talent and all the cast were just the players that helped bring this story to a
conclusion. But it's definitely helped me and I'm really grateful for it. But
like, in terms of an instant thing, it's like, you know I had the blond wig to
disguise me and, you know, it's part of an ensemble. It definitely threw me into
the big leagues, though, in terms of being able to meet the right people and
audition for good roles and hopefully get good roles. And I'm happy with it. It
sort of, it raised the bar, in simple terms."
As Legolas was pretty much
instantly the favorite to boys and girls alike, we asked him about why he felt
"Legy" had that appeal. "I think that, because of the movie, it put us all into
that category," Bloom suggested. "Legolas is kind of the boy of the group. I
mean, Frodo is the ringbearer and everything. But Legy is kind of like, he's
kind of a safe place, you know? He's blonde and he's, you know, an action elf.
And elves are angelic spirits and he's got this timeless, kind-of androgynous
quality to him. And I'm really grateful for the fans. I'm really glad that they
picked up on Legolas, you know what I mean? If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be
doing what I'm doing, because I really think the fact that they're going to the
movie is great."
We next asked if, while re-watching the trilogy, were
there any moments where Bloom just wanted to go back and re-do something he
feels he fucked up. "Oh, fuck yeah," Bloom exclaimed. "Definitely, yes. I mean,
that's why I'm so grateful to Peter as well, because I think about stuff that I
shot that didn't make it, and instead of thinking, 'Oh man, I wish that would
have made it,' I think, 'Well, I'm sure I probably dropped it.' I mean, Pete
really understood who Legy was, you know what I mean? I think he captured who
all these characters were. And Legolas, in the book, is very present. He's just
a very present part of the fellowship who's accuracy with a bow gives him that
assassin-like quality and that protector-like quality. That kind of overseer -
he never sleeps; he's always the one awake checking to see if everyone's safe.
Pete got that and gave me that, and that's what the character is. And I'm really
grateful for that."
In Return of the King, Legolas has a quite
showy moment in the Battle of Pellinor Fields where he takes down a rather large
creature on his own, something that was shot in the re-shoots. We asked Bloom if
this was due to the fan response to his shield-sliding in Two Towers.
"Well, Pete loved the response to the sliding the stairs on the shield, he loved
the hopping onto the horse and, in the first movie, running over the cave troll
and taking a pop at his head," Bloom admitted. "He loved the way the audience
responded to that stuff, those moments. And so, he wanted to top it. That's all
Pete, man - that boyish lust for life. He's got such a great appetite for it all
and he just wanted it to be bigger and better. What better way to do it than
bringing down an elephant with such style? I mean, it's certainly a touch of
craft that goes on there. I basically spent three days on, like, three thousand
sandbags that had been piled up creatively to make the ass-end of an elephant,
and then they add a rig on the top with the stunt guy so I get to fight on top
of the stunt guy. There were wires and I was wired and swinging around on wires
and, you know, climbing up the arrows. And then I had a very serious
conversation with my digital double to make sure he knew exactly what his
motivation was (laughs)/ Pete creates. Things come out of his
Next up, we asked if Bloom had a particular favorite
Legolas moment in the films. "You know when the Fellowship came over the crest
of the hill, in the first movie?" Bloom asked. "They come over one-by-one. I
just loved seeing the Fellowship come over the mountain. And I loved Legy being
a part of the Fellowship. You know, we come between two boulders, and then it
finishes with Aragorn, and Sean Bean's there as Boromir and everyone - the whole
Fellowship come over the hill one by one, and just to see Legy in and amongst
the Fellowship, as a part of the Fellowship - I loved that moment. I just
thought, 'Wow, that's the Fellowship.' You know what I mean? You just see them,
individually, and yet sort of at once. I loved that."
Finally, we asked
Bloom if all the different characteristics of Legolas were stuff he pulled from
the book or, like some of the actors and their characters, they were already
pretty similar to. "No, but it's all within me," Bloom joked. "No, it was much
more of a leap for me. But I found that all the hobbits were joking around on
the set and having a good time, laughing, joking and playing around, and I'd be
like, trying to hold myself and keep myself kind of focused and together.
Because at all times, I wanted to be engaged and it's quite difficult to
maintain that sort of engaged presence when you're not really saying anything or
doing too much. But I wanted to maintain that sense so that you felt his
presence, because that's what it is in the book as well. So he is very different
from me and yet, I think that I kind of found parts of him here, within me. I
just though about immortality and what it would mean to live forever and how
that would, you know, create a meditative sort of state that you would be in. I
thought about samurais for movement, because I thought their physical movement
was so graceful. It was a great character to inhabit for that length of time,
and you kind of hope that your characters rub off on you a bit. And I think Legy
has definitely changed the way I live my life. The experience of being in New
Zealand changed the way I live my life. I kind of was coming of age a bit. I had
a coming of age time on the project. I grew up; I had a whole new understanding
of what nature meant to me and the environment. I suddenly was reconnected,
because I'm from the country originally, from outside of London. I've lived in
London in a very urban environment, for like six years, which is quite intense.
And it just reconnected me with nature. We're creating this future forest thing,
which is a fellowship forest, which is basically, there's this thing called
Future Forest and actors and musicians and people in the public eye are getting
involved in this company called Deep Forest because they can become
carbon-neutral, which means that, however many planes they fly and whatever kind
of car they drive, the plant enough trees to create enough, to make them
carbon-neutral. I think that's a great thing to do and it sort of made me aware
of that. So, it's that sort of thing, you know."