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Orlando Interview, Total Film (UK), January 2003
By Iain Blair

Everyone’s favourite elf explains how he perfected his sword swings for The Two Towers’ colossal battle scenes…

How did your extra work in The Two Towers compare with your initial work on the trilogy?
It was easier in some ways, because we all knew our characters by then. The Fellowship Of The Ring concentrated on introducing the whole world and setting up the story. At the time, it was all so new to us as well.

There’s a lot more action in this movie, though.
Yeah, and that was harder. There are these massive battle scenes with tons of CG effects, but all the sword fighting I do is real. It was all modelled on Japanese samurai warriors. They don’t even get angry when they fight, they just use their swords very efficiently. So I had to master all that.

In the first film, there’s some rivalry between Legolas and Gimli, the dwarf. Does that continue in this movie?
Yes, because us elves basically look at dwarves as these muddy, dirty creatures who just steal from the earth without ever giving anything back to it. But in the second film you see them begin to respect each other a bit more.

You got a special tattoo during the shoot, along with the rest of The Fellowship. Can you imagine yourself doing that on any other film?
No, only for Lord Of The Rings. It goes to show you what sort of experience it was. There was a great sense of camaraderie.