Sir Ian has them at his feet
IR Ian McKellen’s ‘‘favourite’’ part of filming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was being surrounded by kneeling dwarves, according to the film’s director, Sir Peter Jackson.
Jackson says the dwarves were made to look smaller by having McKellen stand on a box.
‘‘There’s also Ian’s favourite technique, which was the dwarves on their knees,’’ he says.
McKellen, who plays Gandalf in The Hobbit, says: ‘‘I adore all the dwarves, they know that. There is one special dwarf and he knows who he is, but enough of that.’’
The actor, 73, says changes were required to switch from playing Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy to playing him again in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
‘‘He comes back as the most boring man or wizard that could have possibly been invented,’’ he says.
‘‘The beard is gone, he seems to have stopped having any fun and of course he has got to save Middle Earth, so he’s got a mission. He doesn’t even have a pointy hat.’’
Philippa Boyens, who co-wrote the script, says she thinks author JRR Tolkien would have been pleased with the three-part adapted version of his novel.
‘‘Professor Tolkien said when he wrote this mythology he did hope it would have a life of its own,’’ she says.
‘‘I can’t imagine he would have huge issues with a lot of it. That wasn’t his job to turn it into a film; that was our job.’’
While The Hobbit trilogy was filmed in 3D, Jackson says there are no plans to create a 3D version of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
‘‘I’m so glad I don’t have to go back and shoot The Lord Of The Rings again,’’ he says.
Speaking about the future of cinema, Jackson says technology is a mixed blessing.
‘‘I really hate the idea that I am a director making a movie for an iPad. There is a degree of jeopardy for cinema now with all the ways people have to see movies now,’’ he says.
Martin Freeman, who stars as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, says he was exhausted after filming the second series of BBC’s Sherlock in London and The Hobbit in New Zealand last year. ‘‘I didn’t really get the chance to unwind,’’ Freeman says. ‘‘I spent 2011 being quite knackered. I handled it just by the glee of being able to do it really. I felt very lucky to be doing two jobs I really adored.’’ Freeman says his hobbit feet also presented challenges. ‘‘They were good for about a week. They were comfortable, then they were really uncomfortable,’’ he says.
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Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf in