Quint chats it up with Billy Boyd and David Wenham about the ROTK:EE!!!
Published at: Aug. 3, 2004, 6:58 a.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a lovely little interview I conducted with Billy Boyd and David Wenham right after their panel promoting the RETURN OF THE KING EXTENDED EDITION DVD at the San Diego Comic-Con last week. I had met Boyd last summer when I was down in New Zealand during pick-ups for ROTK. He's as nice and genuine as you'd imagine he'd be from his interviews and TV appearances. Wenham I saw work while I was in Wellington, but never got the chance to meet him until this interview. I found him to be just as nice and easy going as Boyd in person. On with the interview!
QUINT: You kind of touched upon it during your panel, but it was striking to me when I was in Wellington for the very last bit of shooting on the LOTR films how the whole process seemed to be cycling down. You had the wrap on the principle photography, then you came back for pick-ups before the release of FELLOWSHIP, TWO TOWERS and RETURN OF THE KING. The wrap parties during the pick-ups last summer were full of emotion... but you've had the premieres and the publicity before the release of RETURN OF THE KING. Now that it has come and gone theatrically, has it really sunk in that this is the end of the whole thing? 'Cause the Extended Edition DVD is really the last time you're going to be gathered together promoting this movie...
BILLY BOYD: Yeah, I think it has. I think the premiere to it this year felt like it was a kind of finish to it. In fact, as you say, the wrap... I think that was the most emotional and you have all these other things now that are kind of cool, but they feel kind of add-ons to it now. It doesn't feel like, you know... It's not my whole life which it was for a long, long time.
DAVID WENHAM: I'd pretty much agree.
QUINT: Arguably, the character of Faramir got the best shake out of the Extended Edition of THE TWO TOWERS. Who do you think will benefit the most from RETURN OF THE KING?
DAVID WENHAM: That's a tough question, really. I don't know if one character will benefit more than any others, actually, 'cause there is 50 minutes of footage and I think each character gets a fair enough deal of screentime in the Extended version. So, I think it helps all the characters. It helps the depth of some of those storylines. I think it's an overall thing, more than anything. Do you think?
BILLY BOYD: Yeah, yeah, yeah...
QUINT: I know people are looking forward to seeing what is done with Denethor in the Extended Edition of ROTK... I've seen many people voice the same questions about Denethor in the theatrical ROTK as they did with Faramir in the theatrical THE TWO TOWERS. Do you think his character will get the same sort of treatment in the ROTK: EE?
DAVID WENHAM: Pretty much. From THE TWO TOWERS, I know that a big dramatic decision that was made that was slightly different to the book, which was rather contentious, was having Faramir being tempted by the ring. I think the extra footage that went into the Extended version gave that creative decision a wonderful context so everybody could understand the decision. That's why, I suppose there was a sort of focus on those scenes.
QUINT: You know Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh do a really good job of justifying the changes to Faramir in their commentary track on THE TWO TOWERS: EE. They point out that there is no growth to his character. Where is the growth and the conflict?
DAVID WENHAM: Absolutely. It undermined everything that they've done before if Faramir had not been tempted by it. If one character comes along and goes, "Oh, too powerful! I don't want it!"
QUINT: You guys have done the commentary, so you've seen the extended cut of RETURN OF THE KING, right?
DAVID WENHAM: I have.
BILLY BOYD: It's great. It's got a lot of great stuff in it.
QUINT: David, you have a wedding in the Extended Edition, do you not?
DAVID WENHAM: There's certainly a romance there. You get to see Faramir and Eowyn get together, essentially, which doesn't occur in the theatrical version. It's implicit. They're there for the coronation, but you don't actually see how they got together. Within the extended cut you do, which I think is a wonderful payoff for the fans. There's not too much romance in this story, so it is lovely to get a little bit of that.
QUINT: When you consider all the theatrical editions and Extended Editions of all three films, which do you think is the strongest film?
BILLY BOYD: I think RETURN OF THE KING is the best of all the films. The style of it all just all comes together, I think. The way Pete chose to tell the stories with these massive battle scenes and massive shots of cities, then cut to two people sittin' and talkin'. That way just kind of works amazingly well in RETURN OF THE KING. FELLOWSHIP I still really love because it's the introduction to everything. The first time you ever see an elf, the first time you ever see a hobbit, the fellowship coming together... It's all kind of really nice, but I think RETURN OF THE KING is the best.
DAVID WENHAM: I find it really hard... I swing as well, but at the moment I'd put my money on RETURN OF THE KING.
QUINT: What were you last scenes you shot?
DAVID WENHAM: My very last scene with everything was a fight sequence with the retreat of Osgiliath. I was exhausted 'cause you know what Pete's like with the fight scenes... "Let's go again!" By the end of it, I ended up with blisters on my feet and hands. Peter was like, "OK, that's it for Faramir!" and we had the wrap party and everything. Then, I got the phone call. It was the only time, I think, in the whole filming process where footage was slightly disturbed in the processing department...
BILLY BOYD: Oh, no!
DAVID WENHAM: And I had to go back and do the whole sequence again. After I'd wrapped! Came back and it was "Ladies and gentlemen... we're back!"
QUINT: What about your last scene, Billy?
BILLY BOYD: In principle photography it was...
QUINT: I mean in total...
BILLY BOYD: Of everything? Um... It was killing the Orc who's about to kill Gandalf. That was my very last shot was killing the Orc. What a great way! It was fantastic! I was just thinkin'... Harry was onset when we did that scene...
DAVID WENHAM: Yeah, he was.
QUINT: Yeah, during the principle photography. I remember sitting back home reading his articles, just cursing his name! (Laughs all around) What'd you guys get at your wrap party during the pick-ups?
BILLY BOYD: Got a clapper board, feet... my sword, my Gondorian sword... The one that stabs the orc... Some ears. I wasn't given them, I just took them.
QUINT: So, you're in SEED OF CHUCKY, playing THE seed of Chucky!
BILLY BOYD: It's kinda fun. I saw some of it last week. It's looking great. It does look very, very cool.
QUINT: Are you changing your voice at all?
BILLY BOYD: We shall wait and see. (laughs) It was a lot of fun. Don Mancini's a cool guy, the director. Very cool guy. It seems to be going very well. I think they're going to be showing it in New York in a couple of weeks, I think...
QUINT: What's your favorite dirty joke? If you tell me that one, I'll pass on the joke that Elijah gave me way back in '98.
BILLY BOYD: I can tell you one, but it's kind of long in the telling, so let me think of another...
DAVID WENHAM: It's on the tip of my tongue...
BILLY BOYD: Tell us Elijah's joke...
QUINT: It was the funniest thing... not really because of the joke, but he kept messing the joke up. He was hitting the table trying to remember how it goes, getting upset at himself for not remembering it straight away. But it was about this greek guy who is lamenting, "Look at this house. I build big, beautiful house! But I am not known as house builder..."
DAVID WENHAM: Oh yeah! "But do one goat!"
QUINT: Yeah, "Fuck one goat..." It's funny, but the funny part of that joke didn't really come through, I think, in the transcription because it was in the way he was getting frustrated at telling it that made it hilarious.
BILLY BOYD: That's great... Elijah... I can see him struggling as well...
DAVID WENHAM: I can't think.
BILLY BOYD: It's the only one I can think of... I wonder if I can shorten it...
QUINT: Don't worry about it. I know you guys have had a long day. It's not a big deal.
BILLY BOYD: A guy goes into a pub with an Emu and a cat... Do you know it?
BILLY BOYD: He says, "Two pints of lager..." He says to the cat, "What do you want?" The cat says, "I'm not payin' for it." He says, "I'm not asking you to pay for it. I'm gonna get it. What do you want?" The cat says, "I'm not payin' for it." He says, "It's all right. I'm going to buy it. What do you want?" Cat says, "Pint o' lager, but I'm not payin' for it." (To the bartender) "Three pints of lager."
They drink that. He gets back up and says, "So, is that gonna be the same again?" The cat goes, "I'm not payin' for it." He says, "I'm buying the drinks!" "I'm not payin' for it!" This goes on. Four times it happens. Then the barman says, "What is this? What're you doing with an Emu and a cat?"
He says, "Long story... Anyway, I get these three wishes. I met a genie, he gave me three wishes. I said, 'You see the big house in the hills? I'd love that. I've always looked at it and I'd love to have that.' The genie PSSHHHH... He's sittin' in the house, servants all around. He says, 'Next, I better have money to make sure I keep the house... Um... 10 million dollars.' PSHHHH Bankbook... $10 million."
The barman says, "But this isn't..." He says, "Yeah, yeah... Third wish. 'I want a big tall bird with long legs and a wee tight pussy!'" (laughs)
There you have it, squirts! I've gotten two hobbit to tell me disgusting, foul jokes (read the full text of Elijah's here if you wish). That was a quick interview done after a very long day of addressing (literally) 6,000 fans. I have phoners in the works with other "talent" closer to the DVD release, so we'll see what I can muster up. Hope you folks liked the interview! Now all I got left is the 5 one-on-one interviews I did with the SKY CAPTAIN peoples! If you liked Billy's joke, wait 'til you hear Jude Law's! 'Til then, this is Quint bidding you a fond farewell and adieu.