The Hobbit parts one and two are arguably the most highly anticipated films of all time, but more than a year ahead of it’s US release date Welsh actor John Rhys Davies is already predicting that it will cause a paradigm shift in the film industry.
He told STV’s The Hour: “Jackson is actually going to change the way films are made. It’s really a paradigm change. Just shooting at 48 frames for instance, I’m sorry if this is all technical boring stuff but we who are in the business really love this. Films are never going to be the same after this film comes out. The Hobbit is not as profound a film as Lord of the Rings, but it is so loved.”
The movie, based on the children’s novel by JRR Tolkien, is a prequel to director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy which made an estimated two and a half billion dollars worldwide. It follows tiny hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he heads to the Lonely Mountain with a group of dwarves to recover a treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug, rumoured to be voiced by Leonard “Mr Spock” Nimoy.
Rhys-Davies himself won’t be appearing in the film, but as the actor who played Gimli the Dwarf in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy he has an intimate connection to the project. He also now lives in New Zealand, where The Hobbit is being filmed, so visited the set where he met his on-screen father, Glóin the dwarf.
He said: “When I got to look at those 13 dwarves standing round there, and there was one in particular, I didn’t even have to be introduced. I went up to him and said, ‘Daddy!’.”
There is one other connection to the Lord of the Rings films that this particular dwarf decided to pass however. It came while the nine warriors in the Fellowship of the Ring were carrying on off set:
John explained: “Those drunken little hobbits came to me after a night of debauchery in Christchurch [or] Queenstown and they say we are all going to have a tattoo: the Elvish word for ‘nine’. And I said: ‘If you think I’m going to have this skin pierced by some drunken Maori with a dirty needle you are insane’.
“The pressure was on, so I did what any good self respecting actor would do when faced with real challenge, a real danger: I sent my stunt double and he’s got it.”
John Rhys-Davies will be presenting KJB: The Book That Changed the World, this May 16 at 10pm on Discovery History, also available on DVD.