Evangeline Lilly Discusses Her Elf Training for The Hobbit; New Photo Revealed
01.31.12 by Ryan
Director and co-writer Peter Jackson is certainly taking a few liberties for his upcoming, two-part Lord of the Rings prequel of The Hobbit, bringing back characters from the The Lord of the Rings trilogy like Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom), even though they are absent from J.R.R. Tolkien's original book. However, Evangeline Lilly's character of Tauriel the Woodland Elf has the distinction of being created entirely by Jackson and co-writers Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh, and Guillermo del Toro.
Out of concern for Tolkein's loyal fans, Lilly admitted last September that she was "very concerned" that fans will consider her the "black mark" in the movie because Tauriel is an invented character, which may have been part of her motivation to reveal to Yahoo! that she prepared so much for the Hobbit shoot that she felt she did about "four times as much time preparing" as she did camera work.
I'm a fairly spontaneous actor. I like to keep things fresh and real and alive. And therefore, I don't do a lot of prepping. I can't just be spontaneous [in The Hobbit], because there is nothing natural about being an elf. It's not human, so I have to study to learn what it means to be this other creature. So, on top of my stunt training — which I need to learn how to be proficient with the bow and arrow, and with daggers, and in fighting orcs that are, you know, ten feet tall — I also have to learn the language of Elvish, and I have to learn an RP [Received Pronunciation] neutral English accent for when I speak English.
The Hobbit will arrive in two parts — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in December, followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again in 2013. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lilly revealed that Tauriel isn't in An Unexpected Journey "very much" but will see a "much more involved" role in There and Back Again. Lilly admitted that the role expanded from when she first read for it and became "a bit more demanding" than she first thought. The Lost actress also offered a description of her character that somewhat explains why Lilly had to do such extensive stunt training.
[Taruiel] is a warrior. She's actually the head of the Elven guard. She's the big shot in the army. So she knows how to wield any weapon, but the primary weapons that she uses are a bow and arrow and two daggers. And she's lethal and deadly. You definitely wouldn't want to be caught in a dark alley next to Tauriel.
There's yet to be a photo of Lilly in her elf costume, but Yahoo! did supply a new photo from the movie that includes Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, surrounded by a few dwarves from the company Gandalf (Ian McKellen) has assembled for their quest, including (from left) William Kircher as Bifur, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, James Nesbitt as Bofur, and John Callen as Oin.
Returning cast members for The Hobbit include Andy Serkis (in motion-capture and later animated) as Gollum and Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman. The remaining dwarf cast includes Richard Armitage as Thorin, Ken Stott as Balin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Jed Brophy as Nori, Adam Brown as Ori, Mark Hadlow as Dori, Peter Hambleton as Gloin, Aidan Turner as Kili, and Dean O'Gorman as Fili. The first trailer debuted in December.