Kate Ex­pec­ta­tions

The cast­away and Elf war­rior turns au­thor with kids’ book The Squick­er­wonkers

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

Evan­ge­line Lilly gives us the low­down on The Squick­er­wonkers.

ORI­GIN STORY

“I orig­i­nally wrote a poem called The Squick­er­wonkers when I was 14 years old. At the time my mom was like, ‘ You should publish that, it’s fan­tas­tic’, and I thought she was just be­ing my mom. It wasn’t un­til years later when I was work­ing on The Hob­bit that I dis­cov­ered Weta Work­shop. [ Il­lus­tra­tor] Johnny Fraser Allen showed me a con­cept paint­ing and it just en­cap­su­lated ev­ery­thing I thought The Squick­er­wonkers should be and then some.”

DRAWN TO DO I T

“Writ­ing the book was ab­so­lutely a two- way process. Ev­ery­thing Johnny drew would in­spire some­thing new in me as a writer, and I would go back and rewrite the story ac­cord­ing to the stuff that I loved in his pic­tures. And the stuff that I wasn’t so in love with in his draw­ings he was so quick and will­ing to say that he would change it. There was a con­stant back and forth. I rewrote it at least 15 times just be­cause of his il­lus­tra­tive process.”

ELF HELP

“It was to­tally lib­er­at­ing that Tau­riel was a new character [ for the Hob­bit movies]. I was, of course, aware that I would be un­der deeper scru­tiny be­cause peo­ple would be want­ing to hate her, but once the decision was made to do it, then it was noth­ing but a bless­ing. At that point it was all about, ‘ Let’s cre­ate the best character pos­si­ble so that peo­ple have to fall in love with her,’ in­stead of, ‘ How do I live up to 50 years of peo­ple en­vi­sion­ing this character?’”

ANT AND CHECK

“I did a bunch of re­search be­fore Ant- Man. It helped me de­cide whether or not to take the job, be­cause I’d never heard of Ant- Man – I thought it was some­thing ridicu­lous that Mar­vel was mak­ing up! But I’ve just found out that Eli­jah Wood never read The Lord Of The Rings. I couldn’t be­lieve it, but I guess they are two dif­fer­ent things. If you’ve read your script and un­der­stand your character, you re­ally don’t need to have read the source ma­te­rial.”

The Squick­er­wonkers is pub­lished on Tues­day 18 Novem­ber. The Hob­bit: The Bat­tle Of The Five Armies is out on Fri­day 12 De­cem­ber.

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