As we reported back in June, Lost star Evangeline Lilly is to play the role of woodland elf Tauriel in the Hobbit movies.
Tauriel doesn’t appear in the book, but is one of director Peter Jackson’s addition to the story.
Actress Lilly recently spoke in-depth with SFX about taking on the role:
Now you’re in New Zealand filming The Hobbit with Peter Jackson. It’s a long commitment which would make some actors balk. Was that a concern?
“I will be in and out of New Zealand for the course of a year. It worked out well. For a lot of actors, being that tied down would be problematic for their careers because they wouldn’t have the freedom to take any other part in the meantime. For me it’s perfect because I want to have time to spend with my family and relax and focus on my writing. This role gives me a framework within which to do that because I’m not working all the time but I’m working enough. When you’re not working at all, you get lost in space and time and don’t accomplish anything. It’s a flexible work environment and I don’t have to be estranged from my family.”
When you played Kate you were always doing physical scenes and stunts. How are you prepping for The Hobbit?
“With every film, you have to educate yourself on the material and it’s often things you don’t know a lot about. Right now I’m studying Elvish and having conversations with people about learning how to be an archer, a swordsperson and how to fight like an elf instead of a gritty convict.” [Laughs]
Did you have any reservations about joining The Hobbit cast?
“With The Hobbit, it was a no-brainer because I have been a fan of those books since I was 13-years-old.”
Being a fan of the books, what did you make of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and all the changes he mad to the story?
“When the original came out in theatres, I swore up and down that I would not see them because I thought it was sacrilege that anyone would adapt Tolkien’s work. I didn’t think anyone would justify films by making them as good as they should be. Then my entire family when I was visiting went to see the movie and so I relented and went. We were all fans of the books and we were all blown away! It was a little piece of magic what Peter Jackson accomplished because it was truly a homage to the books rather than an offense.”
Tauriel is a new character in the mythology so as a book purist yourself that must be frightening to ponder how fans will react to your part?
“Yeah! I am very concerned to this day that people will watch the film and I’ll be the black mark on the film. I know how adamant the purists are and I’m one of them! That said, upon reading The Hobbit again, as an adult, I can see why additional characters were needed to round out the story as an adaptation – especially female characters! The Hobbit didn’t include female characters at all and was a very linear story, a book for children, really. What Peter, Fran (Walsh) and Philippa (Boyens) have done is all in perfect keeping with Tolkien’s world, while adding a third dimension to an otherwise very two-dimensional story.”