Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis talk ‘Halt and Catch Fire’

Mar 16 • by Ursa • No CommentsHalt and Catch Fire, Interviews, the Hobbit

My apologizes for this short and unexpected hiatus. I’m working on fully updating the site.

As previously reported, new AMC drama about the dawn of the personal computer industry was screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival a week ago. Crave Online interviewed Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis about the upcoming show (set to premiere June 1, 2014).

Lee Pace Halt and Catch Fire
CraveOnline: What are your roles in “Halt and Catch Fire” as they pertain to the PC industry?
Lee Pace: I’ll start about Joe MacMillan. Joe is someone who comes from IBM. There was this phrase that our advisor told me about, The Wild Ducks. The Wild Ducks are the ones who left IBM and tried to start something else. There were a lot of them. So that’s what Joe is. He’s someone who’s leaving the corporate structure because this technology is such an exciting, fun wave.

He’s looking down the road and seeing the potential of this technology. In the pilot I have a line that sticks out. “Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.” I just need to get people to build the computer that I want that I’m going to bring to the world. That’s why I get together with Gordon Clark and Cameron, so they can build my computer. So we’re making a computer. It’s really simple.

We’re just trying to make an awesome computer because in the world of tech, you’re either the most awesome or you’re out of business. Either you’ve got something that people want to spend your dollars on because everyone’s trying to fight for the same dollars.

So how do you get to be the guy who gets them? The show is very much about how now these phones in our pockets are such ubiquitous parts of our lives, and they’re great. They give us so much freedom and do the things that we need them to do but someone made that happen, lots of people working very hard together and fighting and collaborating to turn the mainframes into these.
Mackenzie Davis: I think Cameron represents a sort of intuitive next wave into the computer industry moving away from computers just being functional machines and starting to have a little bit more personality and anticipate the needs of the user.

I think a lot of her journey in the first season is about trying to apply herself and her ideology into this sort of nondescript box and trying to get it to interact with the world the way she knows it has the potential.

We think of computers as very technical. Do people realize how much drama there is in the industry that produces them?
Mackenzie Davis: They will now. It’s like any industry I would think.
Lee Pace: They will now. It’s an extraordinary thing, a computer, really. It’s electrons moving down those passages and somehow that equals information. As much as this show is a show about computers, because the people in the show care about computers so passionately, love computers, love computational thinking, love the programming of it, love the potential of it, it’s really a show about these people. They’re going into the wild west. That’s what they’re doing with this endeavor.

There’s a great innocence to the show that I really love. There’s an innocence to innovation in a way because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know what’s going to happen to these people. They have high hopes to build this impossible machine but they don’t know if they’re going to succeed, and it takes an insane person to enter into that proposition. That’s Lewis and Clark trying to break into the west.
Mackenzie Davis: They’re unbelievable idealists. They’re going into this project thinking that they’re unleashing something purely beautiful into the world. It’s a very, in their minds, noble pursuit.

It’s going to take the public a lot longer to see the beauty of it, so is there a conflict between these creators and the public?
Mackenzie Davis: Yeah, I think that’s some of the struggle as a creator of a technology that’s really hard to access as a layman, is to try and create something that you’re so passionate about and are so moved by and have such an emotional connection with and try to infuse your personal experience of that machine into the machine so that it can then be transferred to your audience.

Just like “Mad Men” is about advertising but not entirely, and “Breaking Bad” was about drugs but so much more, is technology a launching point for “Halt and Catch Fire?”
Lee Pace: This season is about computers. We’re about making this one computer but it’s about innovation, which is one of the issues of our time. The computer is important to him but there’s a personal drive to be a significant man in this world. He’s looking towards the millennium, 2000, and the possibility of that future as his life’s work, bringing that about.

There were a bunch of guys at the time who were hustling to get into this incredible industry and the ones who succeeded are now very, very wealthy and have influenced our culture in a profound way. Joe wants to be among them. Joe sees the potential of the technology, and forging ahead with that is insane.

What we do with this company, this maneuver I pull with IBM, is insane.

Because it’s fictional, is there more license with that or limitation within the real history?
Lee Pace: The scripts that are coming in are pretty hot. I don’t feel that the writers feel [limited].”
Mackenzie Davis: I feel like the pilot episode is the tamest episode of the season. It’s just so sweet. We are monsters after this. Not really.

Do you get any cool props to play with on “Halt and Catch Fire?”
Mackenzie Davis: Yeah, the computers are amazing. It’s like a playground. That set’s amazing.

Do they work?
Mackenzie Davis: No. Some things do.
Lee Pace: No, because I tried to turn on the Osborne that they brought in and it didn’t work. Actually, I have this picture of my mother in ’83 sitting behind an Adam Osborne that my father bought and she thought it was a big waste of money and a fad. There she is, sitting in front of this. It was luggable basically, a portable computer, but it weighed 28 pounds. It had a big boob tube in the middle of it, two disk drives.

The one they brought on set, the quality of it is so poor. My mom’s got the programming book open next to it because that was when if you wanted your computer to do anything, you had to program it yourself. There was some software that you could buy but most of the time you’d have to input the code yourself. Yeah, there’s fun stuff around. I love it.
Mackenzie Davis: I feel like you’re always touching the individual things. You can interact with a lot of stuff.
Lee Pace: A cool car.

What kind of car does Joe MacMillan drive?
Lee Pace: Porsche 911.

What are the personality conflicts within the team?
Mackenzie Davis: I think at least for Cameron, she is somebody who does not take kindly to being told what to do but she’s working for a very old school corporation so obviously drama is going to come out of an anarchist existing in a corporate world.

She needs the corporate world because she has a great vision for something she wants to create and doesn’t have the funds or the material to do it by herself. She also does not tow the company line. She’s not taken under Joe’s wing as he’d like her to be.
Lee Pace: Really?
Mackenzie Davis: Yeah.
Lee Pace: It’s nothing but conflict. It’s actually nothing but conflict. What they’re so good about is that conflict pits us against each other. This endeavor is so shaky from the beginning. I’m pinning my hopes and dreams on Gordon Clark, this alcoholic who presented a losing computer two years ago, to make this happen. I plucked her out of the back row of a classroom because there’s something about her that I can’t make this computer without. I don’t know what it is but my instinct tells me that you’re what I need. I need courage to make this thing happen.

Were the early ‘80s a heyday for the anarchist movement?
Mackenzie Davis: It was a huge time for punks and the anarchist thing comes about from bucking social norms and the late ‘70s bleeding into the ‘80s. There was a huge punk scene in Dallas and Texas that was very distinct from the punk scene in New York, the punk scene in California in the ‘80s.

So yes and no. I think there’s always a very vocal, if unseen, anarchist movement. It just depends where you look and this show does look to that.
Lee Pace: I think Joe’s got a little bit of that too.
Mackenzie Davis: We want to write our own rules.
Lee Pace: He’s coming in to burn the house down. Innovation is about destroying what was not working, and that’s IBM, those rich white guys in suits who call the shots, is part of what Joe wants to dismantle. That’s why he’s chosen the Silicon Prairie. It’s isolated, there’s a lot of money out here in Texas.

There are a lot of smart, smart businessmen and that’s what Joe’s trying to take advantage of and it’s isolated. It’s not a part of Palo Alto, it’s not a part of the east coast tech world. It’s its own microcosm and I think that’s what Joe is taking advantage of. He knows Steve Jobs is over on the west coast working on something very, very cool and I want to beat him. I think we can. All it takes is a good idea and good execution. That’s all we have to do. We have to connect the dots.

For one Guardians of the Galaxy question, is your Ronan the Accuser based on any specific era of the comic books?
Lee Pace: It’s a character that has changed so much through the years and a character that the readers of the comic books love and love to watch him change. That’s the quality of Ronan I think we’re [going to see]. It’s a very cool character.

Did you have to do any additional shooting for The Hobbit: There and Back Again?Lee Pace: Not yet. Summer’s not over. Not yet, not yet. We did quite a bit last year so we shot a lot of very, very cool stuff.

Based on the original plan, it would have been finished as a two-parter by now. Are you excited another whole movie is still coming?
Lee Pace: Yeah, it’s such a special movie that people connect to. It’s such a great thing to be a part of and I’m very excited once this final piece falls in place of seeing all of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as one movie.

Does it connect up at the end?
Lee Pace: I’m not going to tell you that. [Laughs]


Lee Pace on sword fighting, Tolkien and more

Jan 2 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews

The Sag Harbor Express has a new interview with Lee Pace, where he mainly discusses The Hobbit trilogy films.

Q: Here you are again playing Thranduil. Is there a process involved in playing a character over so many years?
Lee Pace:
It’s been a totally artistic experience, and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve been working on this movie for about three years now, so the “process” means a lot of different things. There’s the incredible source material that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about, about what Tolkien thought about the elves, and what his inspirations were. And I think of the elves that Peter Jackson created the first time around for Lord of the Rings–where we can take them in these Hobbit movies? Thranduil’s the first elf that Tolkien wrote. He’s a very tricky elf, you know. He is the most powerful being in Middle Earth, a legendary warrior. He’s not a friend, as the dwarves know. The best way I can say it is that he’s more like a very old tree, or a tiger, or a lizard, than a human. It’s fun to play a badass.

Danny Peary: It’s interesting that Tolkien made the elves, including Thranduil, immortal. You’re a vampire in Twilight and vampires start out as human beings who become immortal and deal with the new dilemma of living forever. But in this your character is immortal from the beginning. So how did you approach that?
That’s a very interesting question. I’ve thought very much about that, and I think there’s a place to start answering the question. Like their king Thranduil, I see the elves as a force of nature. That’s what I think they are about. They are old Old World elves and their immortality is about transitioning to another place..

DP: If Thranduil weren’t immortal, would you play him differently?
Immortality is a huge part of the elves, and I talk a lot about it in the movie. It changes the rules totally if you know that you’ll never die of natural causes. The elves love combat though and they can die in battle. Thranduil’s survived great battles in which most of the other great elves died. That is a huge cornerstone to the character, too. The dilemma that my character faces–as you see in the prologue of the first film–is whether to help the dwarves battle the dragon. He chooses not to. I think about that choice in the context of your question about immortality. Why should he risk the elves’ precious immortal lives for a lost cause? There’s a different set of values that comes with that immortality. Life is precious in a different way, not because it’s a transient thing. You’re not going to just pass through time with people but will endure and be like the stones and mountains.

Q: What can you tell us about the second film? Is there more action? Is your character more at the center of the story, as it appears in the trailers?
In the second movie, the stakes get ratcheted up an incredible amount, which accelerates the action. The group must get to the mountain and there’s a lot of things standing in the way, including the elves. Thranduil does play a very different part in the second movie. Some dwarves come through his woods, but he’s not going to let them go and wake up a dragon. You don’t wake up a dragon unless you know how to kill it, and they don’t know how. His choice is not to use his force, but he could. Choosing not to do it, he’s taking the same risk as if he chose to do it, because he will still change the outcome of a conflict.

Q: This trilogy is based on one book. How deeply did you go into Tolkien’s writing to learn about your character?
The book is great stuff. Tolkien was such an incredibly knowledgeable person, a real intellect. There were all these great sources he drew on to put his story together. You can’t beat it. It’s literature, it’s mythology, it’s cool. In many ways, it’s English story-telling, English language at its peak. For me, that material was not only a fascinating work but necessary. Decoding those riddles and symbols that he put in was very interesting work. You have to understand it, and be inspired in the same way he was inspired. So many things I read would occur to me later in the shooting, like that all of these kings live in underground caves. What is that about? How did Tolkien come to that? Was it reading Icelandic literature that inspired him, or was it some kind of expression of his imagination that he put these kings in underground fortresses in a very wild world? This is one of the most profound ideas in the story.

Q: Did you train to do any fighting?
I trained to fight with swords. The fight scene was one of the most fun things I did on this movie. The stunt guys are so good, and I had the opportunity do quite a bit of the great stunt work, especially in the Battle of the Five Armies.

Q: What did you take away from playing your character?
My sword skills? You always take a little bit from a character you’ve played. I don’t know what it will be with him. The research did to find him was taking long hikes in New Zealand and just going into the woods and thinking about woods. I’m a pretty gentle person.

DP: Do you think of your character as a bad guy?
Thranduil is not bad, he’s just badass. You can’t compare him to humans because he’s not human. He’s wild. If you encounter a bear in the woods and it mauls you, you can’t say it’s evil. It’s a wild thing. Do you know what I mean? He’s a king, a significant king, a formidable force in this world. He makes no secret of it–he’s not devious. He know he has rules and principles.

DP: Do you think Thranduil’s been misunderstood?
Definitely. In Ralph Bakshi’s animated feature, he’s portrayed as a pretty nasty character. But I look at him a little deeper and don’t believe that he is bad. He’s just not a friend of the dwarves; he doesn’t like them. When I think about him, it makes sense–if they are going to accumulate that kind of wealth, a dragon is going to come. I think that’s his wisdom. He’s looking at these dwarves acquiring a huge pile of treasure, and he knows evil will come a result. Thranduil knows because he’s been around for 3,000 years.

DP: He has a son, Legolas, played by Orlando Bloom, who reappears in this film. What’s the father-son relationship?
It’s a very interesting relationship that evolved as we shot this movie. It’s about immortality as well. Thranduil’s heartbroken because of things that have happened in the past that makes this relationship very complicated. It’s very hard. It’s a movie very much about fathers and sons–there’s that storyline throughout the movie.

Full interview here.

Lee: I don’t know if I’ll ever play a human again

Dec 21 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews

Lee Pace told Total Film magazine he’s not sure he’ll ever play a human again. “It’s been quite an interesting year. I don’t know if I’ll ever play a human again! I was a vampire in Twilight, the King of the Elves in The Hobbit and now an alien warlord in Guardians Of The Galaxy,” he says. In the newest interview, which is published in February 2014 issue he discusses Ronan the Accuser, the villain he plays in Marvel’s franchise; comic books and his upcoming series Halt & Catch Fire. “I’m very excited about playing what is going to be a very complicated character over a lot of years; to keep digging deeper and trying to find out more about who he is,” Lee shared.

lee pace total film magazine lee pace interview

High-quality scans have already been added to our gallery.

Gallery Link:
Magazine Scans > Total Film (February 2014)

Lee talks Thranduil’s rings, The Fall and more

Dec 12 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews

lee pace photoshootIn summer, Lee talked to CLICK about his Guardians of the Galaxy character and social networks. They now posted the full interview with him. He gives a shoutout to his Tumblr fans (which are truly incredible!), talks Thranduil’s rings, The Fall and more.

CLICK: And a final one from the fans, one of them asked if you have a story behind all the rings that your character Thranduil wears?
Oh yea there’s stories about those rings, they mean something to him. This character has been so much fun to play. I’m a huge fan of these books and my father gave me The Hobbit when I was a kid. I was born in a place called Chickasha, Oklahoma and near where my grandparents lived there was a cemetery and there’s a gravestone there that says ‘Bilbo Baggins.’ So not many people know that Bilbo Baggins was actually buried in Chickasha, Oklahoma! My dad was a big fan of the books and Lord of the Rings and he gave them to me as a kid. Never in a million years did I imagine would be here talking to you right now as a part of the movie or Orlando Bloom’s father.

CLICK: To go back a few years, the first thing I saw you in was The Fall which I thought was just an amazing film.
Aw thanks.

CLICK: And I always imagined it must have been a tough film to make with the director Tarsem being so focussed on the look of it.
You know the thing about working with Tarsem was he is a true artist. He’s a true artist and I respect what he’s working on. And it really taught me how to do my job, how to work with a director as talented as him because I saw that what I needed to do was to help him make his movie. To understand what he needs from me to tell his story. Because he’s working on something really big and cool. So hard, not at all, it was inspiring. It was such an incredible experience, everyone on set was a photographer and we travelled the world together. So it was the experience of a lifetime and Tarsem is a good friend and just a true artist. I’ve got tremendous respect for him.

CLICK: I read that Peter Jackson recognised you first in that film and kept you in mind?
Yea I think they flagged me for that for a little while.

CLICK: Six years or so!
Yea! And we’d met and we talked about it and they asked me to do it and said I would love to [laughs]!

CLICK: In the first movie your entire appearance is essentially one dismissive hair toss!

CLICK: Can you tell me a bit about what he gets up to this time?
Yea he’s a very consequential character in The Hobbit. He has a much bigger presence in this movie. But the stuff in that first movie I’ve tried to keep it very detailed and I’m looking at those dwarves and that pile of treasure they’ve accumulated and I know that there’s something bad coming. Yea I know it’s a very funny moment, I’m in it for like 20 frames.

CLICK: One person online actually asked what the name of the elk you’re riding was.
Actually there’s an actor playing the Elk you should ask. It’s a horse named Moose. Playing the elk.

CLICK: That’s very confusing!

CLICK: You’re obviously featuring in this second movie more, you’re all over the trailer. Is that strange, seeing yourself in such a massive promotion?
Well I remember then Phillipa Boyens showed me the trailer in her kitchen when we were doing reshoots and she was saying they were going to release it in a couple weeks. And so we’re watching it and the voiceover kicks in and I’m like ‘God those lines sound familiar… Philippa that’s me!’ [laughs]

Full interview here.

Lee Pace: Thranduil’s not a happy Elf

Dec 8 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews, the Hobbit

Thanks to my lovely friends at Richard Armitage Central, I came across a new interview with Lee. He talks working with big names such as Orlando Bloom and Ian McKellen, immortality, his childhood dreams and more.

For American actor Lee Pace, playing Thranduil, king of the woodland elves in The Hobbit meant he was playing the father to Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, the elf hero of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

In Middle-earth years, Thranduil is centuries older than his son. In the real world, the 34 year-old Pace is two years younger than Bloom.

“I love Orlando. We had a great time on set,” he says of his film offspring but older colleague. “I learned a lot from him, to be honest – just understanding what the concept is with these creatures.”

Thranduil isn’t much like the other Tolkien elves we’ve met before on screen. He’s not like the serene pointy-earred folk of Rivendell, like Elrond or Galadriel. This Elvenking comes with a crown of ornate twigs matched by a chip on his shoulder.

“There’s a perfection to them, but they live forever, so is that perfection or a curse?” wonders Pace. “He’s thought and killed a lot; he’s taken life a lot and survived a lot of battles and he’s sad, he’s hurt because in a Buddhist way he’s not immune to the suffering, and it changes who he is.

“He’s not a happy elf, not a nice elf.”

He’s also the sworn enemy of dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) whose wee gang he takes captive during the part of the Hobbit story covered by The Desolation of Smaug.

“The first scene that I shot was with Richard – and talk about being thrown right in at the deep end. It’s a pivotal scene for both of the characters and it’s the first scene that I shot, the confrontation between the king of the elves and the king of the dwarfs and they do not see eye-to-eye.

“That’s one of the interesting things about The Hobbit – the conflict between the elves and the dwarfs – and we really worked hard to make that conflict specific.

“When Thorin comes through again and I catch him trying to disturb a sleeping dragon I’m determined to stop him … [Thranduil] doesn’t want to be his friend, he just wants people to kneel in front of him.”

Pace seems to have a thing for immortality. Before donning the ears and blonde wig to play Thranduil, he was best known for the short-lived fantasy-comedy television series Pushing Daisies – in which his character Ned had the ability to revive the dead.

As well, he was “good” vampire Garrett in the final film of the the Twilight Saga.

Jackson cast him in the Hobbit trilogy after seeing him in adventure fantasy film The Fall.

For Pace, the shift to New Zealand to the shoot fulfilled more than one ambition.

“All I ever remember wanting to do, as a kid, was act – nothing else. in fact, about the only thing, other than acting, that I’d like to do is go live in the woods, build a log cabin at the top of a hill and try and hide away from the modern world.”

“So, in many ways, the Hobbit ticked all the boxes: not only is it the ultimate acting challenge but it’s also biggest adventure you could go on while making a film.”

The role offered a mix of mental and physical demands.

“The scenes in Elvish were incredibly difficult because we had to learn a completely new language – I’d hate to see the out-takes from those scenes,” he laughs.

“Also, the fighting was a huge challenge because you’re on set with 200 stunt guys swinging these huge pieces of metal around and trying not to hurt anyone, or get hurt yourself. It was pretty intense, at times. The fighting was one of my favourite things that I did in the movie, yeah, because he’s tough. He’s like a game-changer when he enters battle.”

Pace says his year-and-a-half stay in New Zealand has also rekindled his love of the great outdoors, with most of his time off spent tramping or skiing.

“You know, I had a sense that going down to New Zealand to do the Hobbit would be one of those life-changing experiences and that’s exactly what it’s turned out to be,” he adds, seriously. “Getting to work alongside all these incredible actors like Ian McKellen, James Nesbitt and Billy Connolly, who I adore, was an eye-opener.

“It made me appreciate how much I still have to learn as an actor. But I was there, like a sponge, soaking it all up.”

Full article here.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in SciFiNow magazine

Nov 25 • by Ursa • 1 Comment »Interviews

scifinow87_animbigIssue 87 of SciFiNow is now out with four exclusive covers for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. You can choose between Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey (Sir Ian McKellen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Each one has been given a treatment unique to the world their character inhabits, from the creepy Mirkwood of Bilbo to the luxurious gold of Legolas.

Lee Pace fans will most be interested in two articles – The Hobbit and Guardians of the Galaxy. Cats and Books has a nice summary of what we can read inside the magazine.

The Hobbit spread includes interviews with Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Lee Pace (Thranduil), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Orlando Bloom (Legolas) and Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman). Armitage says Thorin gives Thranduil a piece of his mind: “When the dragon came and they needed help, the elves didn’t intervene — for very good reason actually, but at the time it felt like a huge betrayal, and that’s a burning anger in him. He gets to stand in front of Thranduil and tell him what he thinks of him.” As we know, Thranduil counters by locking the dwarves up in his prison. Pace explained Thranduil’s motivation for standing in their way: “These 13 dwarves come through my woods; I’m not going to let them go wake up a dragon. It’s like, ‘No, kids, we’re going to keep you here!’ You don’t wake up a dragon unless you know how to kill it, and they don’t.” He has a point. So he’s locking them up for their own good, the impetuous dwarves!

Bloom says the Mirkwood elves aren’t as cuddly as the ones who live in Elrond’s Rivendell: “Legolas was always different from the Rivendell elves, so Legolas comes in and he’s a bit more… I don’t know, he’s got a bit more of an edge. and I think Thranduil has an edge. They’re not messing around.” If you’ve seen the clip from MTV’s European Music Awards you know Bloom isn’t kidding (if you haven’t seen the clip go to this post from TheOneRing.net).

The magazine also has an article on Guardians of the Galaxy. Photos are ones we’ve seen before, so nothing new there. Michael Rooker (Yondu) and Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser) are interviewed. After playing the cool and regal Elvenking Thranduil in The Hobbit, Pace was in for something entirely different when he stepped onto the set of Guardians. In the interview he said: “‘Very un-elfy, right guys?’ He’s a real psychopathic beast. I’m having the best time playing it.” – and – “I kept looking over at [director] James Gunn when we were shooting. ‘Too much? Should I pull it back?’ He’s like ‘No, more, go for it!’” Subtlety is not Gunn’s strong point.

Guardians will apparently also be colorful, literally. Both Yondu and Ronan are blue in the film. Rooker apparently liked it, because he said: “The blue is simple, it’s beautiful. The colours that we use in Guardians are just exquisite. When everything is put together — when you have wardrobe on and the lighting’s going — man oh man it’s beautiful, it’s going to look fabulous.” That sounds almost poetic, and then you realize he’s talking about the skin color of some badass aliens.

Full article here.

You can grab your copy of the magazine here.

Update on December 1, 2013:
Thanks to my friend Marieke I now added SciFiNow magazine scans to our gallery.

Gallery Link:
Magazine Scans > SciFiNow Issue 87 (2013) – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Magazine Scans > SciFiNow Issue 87 (2013) – Guardians of the Galaxy

VIDEOS: Lee Pace attends The Hobbit Fan Event in London

Nov 6 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews

We have two new videos from the event. Both of them first show the place where the event was help on November 4, and then offer us a look at Lee Pace, Andy Serkis and Luke Evans posing for press. After we see all three cast members of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug answer a question.

In the first video, Lee introduces his character, Thranduil. He starts talking at 2:10.

In the second video, he talks about the fan art his father sends him. The interview starts at 01:20.

Popcorn interview with Lee Pace

Nov 4 • by Ursa • 2 CommentsInterviews

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)

Lee talks greenscreens, Hannibal and more

Nov 3 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews

In November 2013 issue of F*** magazine, there’s a new interview with Lee Pace and Richard Armitage (Thorin). Lee discusses the Elvenking’s personality, and tells us more about the filming process. He also mentions he’s seen Halt & Catch Fire pilot recently and “it’s really good”.

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I retyped some questions for you. Full interview (I strongly recommend it) can be found in our gallery.

Tell us a little about the role that Thranduil and Mirkwood play in The Desolation Of Smaug.
Mirkwood used to be the Greenwood, but it’s a corrupted forest, it’s become a very dangerous, wild place, and it is also Thranduil’s realm. The forest is very much a reflection of its king, just as the king is a reflection of his land. Like the Fisher King [a sovereign in Arthurian legend whose lands waste away when he suffers physical injuries]. One of the symbols I was very interested in was the Fisher King – and the story of the Fisher King was that he was away in this paradise, this utopia that would vanish, and it’s surrounded by a wasteland. And that’s Thranduil – he’s wounded king in a paradise that’s surrounded by a wasteland. It’s a dangerous place; he’s dangerous, dangerous king.

It’s a very anticipated role, how’s the fan response been so far?
I guess I’ve gotten some nice fan letters about it. I hope people are excited about it, I’m certainly excited to play it. It makes me feel good that people are excited to see the character. I think we’ve solved a lot of the riddles in the book about the character. Do you know the cartoon? Remember the cartoon? You know how the Elf King was depicted in a really nasty way? This Elf King is different.

Did you get a chance to film on location in New Zealand?
They shot at a lot of places but I never went on location. Everything I shot was on the greenscreen. I did shoot up in the Ruins of Dale. But I didn’t get to go to the cool location stuff, I was bummed about that.

How was shooting on greenscreen? How does that affect the acting process?
Well, you have to imagine it. Because it never looks like that [he gestures to the poster of Bilbo in front of the Doors of Erebor] when you’re on set. You just get a little rock and some twigs and then Pete’s like – “Well, you know, it’s gonna be very big. It’s the elven king’s halls, you know, it goes on and on and on.” And I imagined yeah, it goes on and on and on. But then I watch what Pete does with it and it’s like on and on and on and on and on and on, because he just makes everything so big. He makes it all so kind of jaw-dropping.

So, greenscreen, I mean, I like it. No complaints about it. It’s easy to complain about it because it’s just, you know, a weird thing. The colour’s weird. Although one of my favorite places on set is the special effects table, because they’ve got like six screens up and they’re all working on different shots from the movies.One of them is animating a dragon, one of them is creating the way the coins fall. At this level, it’s awesome what they do, what they’re capable of doing.

You worked on Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls with Bryan Fuller, and there’s been talk about Bryan Fuller wanting to cast you in season two of Hannibal. Can you talk a little about that?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve talked about it. He asked me to do something last year when I was doing a play here in New York City, so I didn’t end up doing it. I’ve worked with Bryan twice before, so I’d love to be a part of this show too. I mean, whenever the right time comes, it’ll be the right time to do it. I’m doing a show for AMC this year called Halt & Catch Fire. We shot the pilot already and it is – I saw it last week – it’s really good.

Gallery Link:
Magazine Scans > F*** Magazine (November 2013)

Lee Pace in Italian Best Movie Magazine

Oct 31 • by Ursa • No CommentsInterviews

Lee Pace and some other Hobbit cast members (Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans and Peter Jackson) are featured in November 2013 issue of the Italian Best Movie Magazine.

lee pace luke evans ian mckellen liv tyler orlando bloom the hobbit lee pace interview

There’s also a short interview with Lee on the last page of the article.

Will you have more scenes in Desolation of Smaug?
Surely. The King of the Woodland Realm is an important figure in Middle Earth. He’s extremely powerful and he has an enormous army. He’s in bad terms with the dwarves. He’s disgusted by their wealth sickness: he knows their greed will evoke an evil force. Elves are some sort of angel warriors, they live in harmony with nature: but their forest is dark and corrupted by the dragon, for this reason my character has a dark soul.

Which is your trick to play an elf?
Apart from the elvish speaking, there is also a body language that must communicate union with nature. For this reason it’s essential for us to move as if we were in water. Thranduil can perceive anything happening in his forest, he’s a great warrior, but he’s like a matador: he doesn’t just want to kill the bull, he wants it to suffer.

And about the make up?
What do you mean? That I’m not naturally beautiful? [laugh] The make up for the elves is easier than the one for the dwarves, it only requires an hour and a half: contact lens, wig, pointed ears. But I have a very uncomfortable crown, especially for the fighting scenes.

How is Thranduil’s relationship with Legolas?
They’re very different, even though they are father and son. Thranduil wants to control his realm and stay isolated from the rest of the world, while Legolas wants to commits himself. This is a very typical father/son relationship! There is a lot [of relationships] in The Hobbit, and this is interesting.

Thanks to Moustache Luke for uploading the scans and devilsfootroot for the translation.

I added four high-quality scans featuring Lee to our gallery. Full article can be read here.

Gallery Link:
Magazine Scans > Best Movie (November 2013)

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