Popcorn interview with Lee Pace

Nov 4 • by Ursa • 1 Comment »Interviews

French magazine Popcorn (October/November 2013 issue) has a very interesting interview with Lee Pace, where he discusses the elf he portrays in The Hobbit trilogy movies, and comments on Peter Jackson’s and Tolkien’s work. Lee shares what Thranduil and him have in common, who drew him to the role and more. The original version can be read here, but for all those who do not understand French, we translated the interview to English.

000 001

Is it easy to play Orlando Bloom’s father?
I loved playing Thranduil, Legolas’ father. As you can imagine, these two have a complicated relationship. It is not too easy to describe it, because we’ve just finished shooting and it’s probably still too fresh in my head. What is certain is that they have a completely opposite view of the world. And I think that this film makes us understand why Legolas left his clan and joined brotherhood of Lord of the Rings.

Who drew you to this role and what do you have in common with the character you play?
What attracts me to the elves is that they are not people like you and me. They are beings close to nature, trees and animals. Just as if they were tigers. And my character is an old tree, half tiger half-tree. I would say even a lizard. The elves are being very down to Earth and are in constant touch with the natural elements. And I’m the king of this world. He [Thranduil] is an extremely powerful being. Peter and I have worked on my character for more than three years. What is also different with Thranduil, is that he is alone and haunted by this eternal life. But he has the power to change his destiny and others’.

How would you describe your role?
Let’s be clear: this is a character who is neither good nor bad. He is not a villain but it is true that in the first part [An Unexpected Journey], he refuses to help the dwarves . On the other hand, put yourself in his place: would you go to protect a race that is not yours and risk your life for an unfamiliar cause. He is a great warrior, he is immortal and he just seeks to protect his kingdom, Kingdom of The Elves. He fought in the past against the dragons and he knows how hard it is to kill them. So when the dwarves come to seek his help, he refuses to give them a helping hand …. with a sword (laughs)! What is also fascinating to me is how my character controls his strength and power. He never abuses his power and does not show it, although we are going to see in the third film that he knows how to fight and I had to face quite some scenes of action! I love how he has tries to keep calm and to control himself. It is interesting to see that if he wanted to, he could probably kill the dragon and grab the treasure of the dwarves in their fortress, but he chose not to do so. What he doesn’t see coming, on the other hand, is the ascent, the rise of evil that will take Middle Earth by surprise.

Have you been surprise that Peter Jackson chose you for this role based on your performance in The Fall?
Absolutely! He had seen The Fall and I know he was a fan and that’s what pushed him to invite me to join The Hobbit. He came to NY and we read a few scenes together and everything followed up very quickly. It was a strong event in my life, even more as I grew up reading Tolkien’s books that my father had given me. What’s funny is that everyone has a different view of the book which is totally different from the film.

What left the biggest mark on you when reading?
Especially the songs that are for me the heart of the book. Also, Tolkien’s love for the forest, the trees. He made an inventory of all the species. I think this is the greatest common trait between Tolkien and Peter Jackson: their love for the nature. You only have to see how Peter filmed New Zealand. It is simply beautiful and gorgeous. He has a sense of the theatrical, dramatic; nature plays character on its own in his film. What’s great is how he managed to bring to life the books of Tolkien.

Big thanks to Mariana for the scans and Danielle for helping me out with the translation.

Gallery Link:
Magazine Scans > Popcorn (Oct-Nov 2013)

One Response to “Popcorn interview with Lee Pace”

  1. I am unbelievably excited for this movie!! It was so disappointing to see him for all of 5 seconds in the first Hobbit film, haha.

    Thanks for the translation!!

Leave a Reply