Orlando and Liv Tyler Interview - Two rockstars in their own rights, from Ringbearer.org, May, 2001
The interviews were done in a round table format. About 20 or so journalists
sat around every table and the actors would come around to each table for about
thirty minutes each. My table had a couple journalists that basically asked all
of the questions--which sucked. They didnít let anyone else ask questions
because they kept hounding the actors. (and they also asked a lot of non-LOTR
questions. I have no idea how these people are let in to these things) But there
were some good answers at least from everything. Here we go:
Orlando really looks like a rock star these days. He is a very lithe person
(more than one cast member gave him mad props on his physique) and was wearing
baggy jeans with a form fitting shirt. He also wore big dark sunglasses and
smoked throughout the interview. Liv wore a long flowing dress and was very cold
throughout the interview, she shared a blanket with Orlando. (she was also
barefoot which probably didnít help her stay warm!) They started the interview
speaking a little Elvish for the reporters, which was really cool to hear in
person. A very melodic language that Liv and Orlando could both speak very well.
Question: How hard was it for you to learn to speak Elvish?
Liv Tyler: A thousand different series of lines. Like the first couple
of lines I had to memorize were very hard. But eventually it got easier for me
and I really enjoyed it. I could actually do it really quickly after a while.
Sometimes I would have to film 3 or 4 four scenes in Elvish and I would have to
take it in stages because if I memorized it all at once I would get confused so
I would do them one at a time. After a while it became very natural.
Orlando Bloom: Well the thing with the Elves is there is hard to grasp
onto as far as there is no real rhythm for how the Elves spoke. So I found it
hard to learn at times.
Question: What was the effect of taking a year out of your life to
film this movie?
Liv Tyler: Very good question. I came and went a lot. It was a major
decision, particularly in the beginning; not
necessarily for my career, but more
on a personal note. Like, oh my God can I handle being on the other side of the
world for so long? Iím a very family-oriented type of person and I get home-sick
really easily. I think I was more homesick than anyone else. It was really hard
because I would go home for 2 months and stay for a week and go so on. Instead
of traveling a lot I would take the opportunity to go home whereas the boys
[looking at Orlando] were there the whole time and really explored the whole
Orlando Bloom: We learned to surf. And we spent a lot of times
outdoors. Itís such a
beautiful country with so much to do. Jumping out of
planes. Bungee-jumping. All sorts of crazy stuff. So itís a good place for 18
Question: Whatís it like to be the only girl amongst all the boys here
for so long?
Liv Tyler: Iím really used to that. It seems like every movie I do as
me and the guys. But it was great, I love everybody and I feel really special
because I was treated so well.
Question: How is it playing with a love interest older than you like
Liv Tyler: Well heís not as old as Richard Dreyfuss from my first
movie! (laughs) I had to make out with Richard Dreyfuss when I was 16.
Question: How was Viggo to work with?
Liv Tyler: Viggoís amazing.. I mean the whole cast is amazing. Viggo
in particular was unbelievable because he literally became Aragorn. Itís funny
for me to see him now because heís a lot more relaxed and he doesnít have the
facial hair and Iím thinking ďboy Viggo youíre pretty cuteĒ [female reporters
all laugh] He really submersed himself in the part and every way as everyone
did. Learning to horseback ride, archery, and sword fighting, the language
involved; Viggo being a ranger, it was really important to him that he was in
the clothes all the time and kind of dirty. He brought his sword everywhere and
really got into that. He did all of his old stunt and stuff.
Question: Is there romance involved?
Liv Tyler: Yes. Oh my God sheís madly in love with him. The love story
for me is the main core of my part in a way is the love that these two people
have for each other. In a really girlish way is what drew me to the part. Itís a
real classic heart-wrenching lovestory. If you read the appendix in the back of
the book. [Editorís Note: GASP! My respect for Liv went up multiple levels with
the discovery that she had read the Appendix] It was really like Romeo and
Juliet in that level of a classic love story. Itís a very complicated situation
Question: According to the press kit, your character is supposed to be
known for her superior horsemanship. Iíve heard some rumours that that is a bit
Liv Tyler: Me and horses donít go so well together. (laughs) I think
that horses are the most beautiful creatures and I love to touch them and kiss
them on the nose and hang out with them and all that stuff; I just donít like to
be on them. (laughs) I learned how to ride really well. I cantered in
Question: But you were scared?
Liv Tyler: Thereís something about being on top of an animal that is
four times the size of you and has four legs and can run is kind of scary. But I
did it. These guys [looking at Orlando] could ride barebackÖ
Orlando: Yeah we had a lot of training before the filming started. About two
Question: But you had to do all kinds of training didnít you?
Orlando: Yeah we started off with archery training. The Elves are a really
superior race. They have this superhuman strength, reflex speed, sensory
awareness, theyíre kind of angelic spirits. They were the first race to be
placed on Middle-earth by the Valar, the gods of Middle-earth. So we had to
learn movement training, for Legolas particularly I learned a style of martial
arts training to use these two blades, two knives that he uses. It was kind of
an ancient European and Asian style of fighting. There was horse training and
sword training with Bob Anderson who was such a genius and quite the character.
Lots of training in the gym just to keep your stamina going.
Liv Tyler: When everyone arrived, everybody had to be prepared very
early on. Everyone was given a trainer to prepare physically. Even if we werenít
filming the most physical scenes, just from the hours being so long, they wanted
everyone to be prepared physically for this long road ahead. Every day if we
werenít working we were doing lessons.
Orlando Bloom: As Elves, it was quite tiring, because they are these
incredibly composed characters. So when you were on set you just had to have
this real focus on you because that what was demanded of you from the nature of
the character. There was no sort of slouching.
Liv Tyler: They were always perfectly composed. We couldnít relax
Orlando: Yeah, when the Fellowship was all taking a rest and sitting down
Legolas would be standing on a rock staring off into the distance. Using his
senses to be aware of danger and keep an eye out for the Company.
Question: What were some of your favourite scenes?
Liv Tyler: Oh my god how can we begin? Thereís so many.
Orlando Bloom: You saw the footage right? I really enjoyed the stuff
inside of Moria. It was an odd environment for Legolas because he is used to
being in the trees. I had to have this different mindset because he was in this
enclosed space and the stuff with the Cave Troll. It was such a relief to see
how well that had turned out to have this great sort of interactive beast. It
looks so real.
Liv Tyler: They were acting with nothing there.
Orlando Bloom: Yeah they had this poll with a cross on it and I had to
duck and dive with all of these plastic explosions going off all around me. That
was really fun and interesting.
Question: What was it like filming on the other side of earth?
Liv Tyler: Well for us it was really a beautiful thing. In a way, it
was Middle-earth. We were sitting in our trailers with the doors open and
everywhere around us were walking little people, big people, and monsters, and
everything you could imagine around us.
Orlando: It was a very happy set. It was a real labor of love from everyone.
Everyone was so totally involved. Being so far away from the rest of the world
as it were really brought us all together and made us really good friends. The
cast and crew got very friendly and it was really an adventure to be there all
on this big team. We were very welcomed by the people of New Zealand. They kept
the shops and stores open for us if we needed to get stuff after a day of
shooting. It was really a special place to be.
Question: Did it feel like Peter Jacksonís world? The way he talks
about the characters makes it seem like he is really at home in this world.
Liv Tyler: Heís a Hobbit. (laughs)
Orlando: Heís definitely created a world.
Liv Tyler: It was all around us. This town we shot in, Wellington, we
actually shot in just about every possible warehouse space. My last day was at
the shipping port, suddenly there was this Elvish set in there. There was also
Weta and Weta Digital and the
studio and everything all around us. The people of the country really
participating in the movie with their encouragement.
Orlando: Thereís so much natural beauty in New Zealand. It was quite easy to
be inspired to recreate the images of Middle-earth.
Question: What did you have to help you remind you of all those
Orlando: Well everyone on the set was a complete fanatical genius in terms of
what they knew about Lord of the Rings.
Liv Tyler: And at Weta, one of the first things we did was go on this
huge tour. It was essentially this huge warehouse with each room for something.
One room was for the Army of the Dead, Hobbit feet being made, one the feet
being cooked in the oven, the next one with individual hairs being sewn on, and
the next room swords being made by hand. All of these really young guys and
girls, these talented young people, who worked so hard. They were so familiar
with the text and the story, everyone who worked on the film was sort of a
diehard fanatic of the book. We shot dependent on what sets were ready, we
didnít really shoot in continutiy of the film. There were always sets being
built and you could go watch them be created and see all of the drawings.
Question: How old were you when you first read the books?
Liv Tyler: I hadnít read it at all.
Orlando: I got halfway through when I was 14, but then I got interested in
girls and sports and stuff. I picked it up and finished it when casting began.
Itís great to have a book like that which, like the Bible, people refer to it if
you need to. Tolkien was so detailed, a professor of history. And everything was
layered with so much detail you could easily go there for reference. All of the
characters were described in the finest detail. It made it really accessible and
easy to get in touch with your character.
Question: How do you feel about the responsibility on your shoulders
for adapting a story loved by so many?
Liv Tyler: Whenever you are adapting something from a novel it is
always really sensitive. People will always be hyper-critical and have their
vision of it. Anything that you do and obviously something like this that is so
visual everyone creates in their mind what things look like. But this is Peterís
version, and everyoneís, but essentially but he and the few close people that he
started working on this with a few years ago. There is a lot of pressure, and
particularly with the Elves, but you canít have that looming over you ever day;
because then you canít perform at any task. You have to trust in what you are
Question: Had Lord of the Rings changed your expectations career-wise?
Orlando Bloom: No. I donít know about changing the, I donít know what
expectations I really had. It was a very educational experience in terms of
learning about the industry. Learning about the business of making filmsÖ.
Liv Tyler: And seeing both worlds: Effects and PerformanceÖ
Orlando: And working with some of the greatest actors around. That was
inspirational and made me feel very lucky and spoiled rotten.
Question: What was it like to like on such a big-budget film?
Liv Tyler: I always found on this film, that even though itís one of
the biggest films ever made, that if felt like a small independent film in a
way. Because of the nature of where we were and how dedicated everyone was.
There werenít a lot of perks. We didnít have these huge trailers and all these
excess things. It was really kind of down and dirty in that way. The passion
that went on made it feel like not a typical big-budget movie.