"Mercy!" cried Gandalf: "if the giving of
information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend
all the rest of my days in answering you. What do you want to know?"
4 August 2004
From: Jen Faber
Q: I am currently a chiropractic student, and I was recently informed
that there was a chiropractor on the Lord of the Rings crew. It is my
career dream to be a chiropractor for various film crews, and I would
love to begin discussing this goal with chiropractors who are already in
A: I worked only with Steve Thomson, a New Zealand
physiotherapist/masseur/trainer but not a chiropractor. If you once
treat an individual on a film successfully, word will spread through the
unit. So perhaps you should begin by offering your services to just one
person to begin with.
Ian McKellen and Steve Thomson
Canadian Rockies, 2002
Q: are the lord of the rings cast and other peope (including you!)
are going to make a seperate movie with all of you people in it? my
friend hillary and i think its a fantastic idea because we are really
sad that the lord of the rings is over...thanks so much for replying!
A: It's a wonderful idea that we might have become a regular
company of actors, like you often get in the theatre. But the days of
studio contracts are over. I'm sorry not to have been called to stride
thru the jungles with King Kong. Surely the Fellowship could have
been of assistance.
WATCH YOUR HEAD
Q: My granddaughter & I would like to thank you for your
performance in Lord of the Rings. Funny though, my little Deja (3 years
old) can watch Orcs and Trolls, but cannot bear to watch Gandalf bump
his head. It's the funniest thing to watch her run from the room when he
knocks his noggin in Bilbo's house and then come back to watch the rest!
A: Please assure Deja that Gandalf didn't really hurt his head — just a
little bump. Even though no-one kissed it, it soon got better.
Q: One of my favorite scenes from The
Return of the King is that of Gondor's retreat from Osgiliath as it is
overrun by orcs. As Faramir and his remaining soldiers make a mad dash
toward Minas Tirith, they are picked off by the winged Nazgul. Just as I
am seriously bruising my husband's arm from gripping it so hard out of
fear and tension, we see Gandalf riding out to meet them. What a
wonderful sight: that lone figure in glowing white flying across the
plain to scatter the foul beasts! Here's my question: why does Gandalf
have Pippin with him? Surely it was not necessary to have him along
under such dire circumstances. Perhaps some small bit of information was
edited from the theatrical version?
A: This is the sort of question I am not up to answering reliably. As
the Gandalf you admire was my riding double Basil, I can't help you.
Q: I went through your
LotR scrapbook and found this amazing photo
(see below). If you have the time,
could you please send me the whole of that photo?
A: Maybe webmaster Keith can help. I took the snap of some of the virgin
forest on the west coast of the South island on one of my free week-ends
[Webmaster's note: This IS the entire
photograph — the unusual aspect is because it was shot sideways using a
"panoramic" camera setting. Visit the rest of Ian's scrapbook,
Q: I was just wondering how long the filming of The Lord Of The Rings
A: The initial shoot (see
Grey Book) took 18
months, followed by extra weeks filming for each of the 3 films.
THE SOUNDS OF ELVISH
Q: I`ve been a professional musician all my life - btw,I was involved
in the production of `Romeo" that you did at RSC in 1976. Was there any
thought of trying to imagine what sounds the immortal elves could have
evolved? In all other respects LOTR breaks new ground. Just think its a
shame that such an utterly conventional 20thC-type film score was
grafted on to it.
A: Whilst not sharing your reaction to the Shore score, I was surprised there weren't more songs from the books in the films.
Had there been, no doubt the music would have matched them and pleased
you better. My regards to Stratford.
Q: I'm a teacher of 4-5-6 grade low achieving kids....and because of
the movies, these kids were passionate in struggling through reading the
Lord of the Rings books. And in so doing, the majority of them became
much better readers and more thoughtful students as well. So...thank you
thank you thank you for your powerful contributions to their future.
A: I am so pleased your students have responded positively to the
films and now the books. Good for them - and you for encouraging them.
Q: I was wondering about the scene in Return of the King
where Gandalf beats up Denethor wit his staff. It looks so real, and I
was curious as to how it was done. Was it a stage fight with sound
effects added in later? How much did you have to practice?
A: You worked it out - the punches are pulled, which is why so often in
film ad stage fights, the blow is masked by a foreground character. The
nasty sound is added later. I have been practising fights for 40 years
but only pretend ones.
From: Ryan Partner
Q: The bond seen through out all the LOTR movies
between the cast is apparent. was this something that happened gradually
for you as there is an obvious age gap between you and the actors
playing the Hobbits?
A: Peter Jackson's authority and good humour: Elijah's humility and good
humour: the producer Barry Osborne's calm and good humour. You get the
point. Laughter gets a company through most things. But it seemed that
everyone in front of the camera and behind, on set or in the workshops,
was devoted to the project, through thick and thin, because the example
of determination came from the top.
Additional E-Posts about LOTR may be found in