Jed Brophy Visits the Prancing Pony 5/30/04
The following is a compiled transcript of a Q & A that was
posted at the LOTRfanclub's Prancing Pony Board
when Jed Brophy generously allowed us to submit questions for him to
answer. This Q & A was arranged by Lithilien Quicksilver.
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Jed Brophy ('Snaga', 'Nazgul'
Visits the Prancing Pony Board of the Official LOTR Fanclub
May 30th, 2004
Q1: Queen of Gondor
asked: In the 14th issue of the LOTR Fan Club magazine, you said you
had worked with Peter Jackson before LOTR. What is it like to work with
him? Does he put lots of stress on so it is perfect? Is he fun to work
Jed: He is one of
the few directors you completely trust to get the best result so it
takes a lot of the pressure and worry. He is a great deal of fun to
work with because I think peter genuinely loves his job, and so do most
of the people around him.
Q2. Gideon asked:
Having worked with PJ before, did that make you more confident about
working on LOTR? Did you know what to expect / have an inkling of what
Peter would ask of you?
Jed: I think every
actor feels a certain amount of anxiety before undertaking a film role,
but peter has always managed to make me relax.He never made me feel as
if I didn't know what I was doing. I know from experience that He does
like you to bring some kind of performance for him to work with but
that he also can have a very clear notion of each characters parameters
so yes in that way i knew what to expect.
asked: When you are watching the LOTR do you think 'Whoa, that's me?!'
or can you forget about the fact that behind all that it's you?
Jed: I get that
feeling watching anything I've done so yeah a wee bit, but the
magnitude of the films catch me up every time i see them. I get more of
a buzz recognizing other folk I know. You get used to seeing yourself
as a prosthetics character so it's no shock really.
Q4. Gideon asked:
How much time and effort went into the fight scene with Viggo? In the
LOTR magazine, you stated that you enjoyed it very much as the level of
professionalism and fun was high, but what actually went into the fight
in terms of choreography, preparation and problem-solving?
Jed: Around 5-6 days
if i recall. There are always a lot of technical problems to solve when
trying to create fast moving action on an animal that isn't there or is
static, and then combining weapons and fight choreography, and we had
all those going as well as cold weather and then all the background
action as well. Viggo myself and the stunt coordinator and the director
of photography, mapped out where the camera would be in relation to the
action and then Viggo and I talked through a logical sequence of blows
blocks and retaliations which would coincide with the animals supposed
movements, and also where the dramatic beats would be. i.e where
Aragorn comes off the Warg, how he gets on all those things combined to
create a step by step sequence. Viggo would say "If I head butt you
what would you do back and we would work the fight up in this way. So
yeah making complex and technical look natural and simple.
Q5. Gideon again: What are your fondest
memories of being part of the team?
Jed: being part of
the horse department for all its Drama was still a highlight in my
career, as it combined my love of horse , films and the grand
landscapes of New Zealand. Those horse battle scenes are i think some
of the best days of my life. Also having my family so involved. Seeing
them on screen makes me tear up every time.
Q6. Gideon once more: Of all the characters
you played (in LOTR), which was your favorite?
Jed: Crazy as it may
sound, being one of the Black Riders, full on action. But loved working
with Viggo too so tough call. Snaga was the most fun as a character.
Q7. Gideon’s final question: Do you hope to
be involved in King Kong?
Jed: I would hope love to be involved.
Anything that peter and Co are doing i would love to be a part of.
wanted to know: The orcs required a great deal of prosthetics to bring
them to the screen. Do you find that leaving your own face in the
make-up trailer (so to speak) allows you to access parts of your
personality that usually lie dormant (at least we hope!)?
Jed: I've always
been able to access the darker side of my nature. Sure the mask helps
because the aspects of the physical changes spur you to make decisions
about how you will play the character.
again: When you are playing more 'real' characters (especially those
who are 'good guys'), do you find that prosthetics which are more
involved than hair or beards help or hinder the search for truth in a
Jed: Beards are a
pain as they usually needed to be glued on as i had to be clean shaven
for the prosthetics. Anything which changes your appearance has that
double edged problem of helping but also halting a truthful
performance. So the truth of a character needs to come from in you.
Q10. DrG once
more: If the Fan Club dream becomes a reality, and 'The Hobbit'
directed by Peter Jackson gets a green light, what role would you
prefer: a goblin, one of the 12 dwarves, or perhaps one of the
Beornings? And does the amount of prosthetics affect your decision?
Jed: Ideally i would
just like to be involved but for sure it would be good to be a human
occasionally. What work there would be for me wouldn't be my decision.
asked: You mention in the fanclub magazine article that your youngest
son got to work with Liv and Viggo. What part did he play?
Jed: Sadwyn played
the part of Eldarion Aragorn and Arwen’s future son. He's thankfully
pretty unaffected by It all, although would love to go and live with
Viggo in the states I think. He’s a very lucky little boy.
Q12. Lith was
curious: How was Sadwyn selected for the role of Eldarion? Many have
commented upon his uncanny resemblance to Liv, speculating that Arwen’s
and Aragorn's son would indeed very likely have looked like this (given
the actors who portrayed them). Was this resemblance a factor in his
Jed: He's actually
blond, and i see the likeness to both the Actors but I believe he just
nailed the Audition and indeed the performance.
Q13. Prim asked:
Of all of the people you worked with in the filming of LOTR, which ones
come to mind as those you would eagerly want to work with again, and in
Jed: Viggo obviously
as an actor it would be great to work with him on another film. Dreams
are free. Anything that either Peter or Richard or fran or any of the
myriad of talent from LOTR I'd work with again at the drop of a hat.
Q14. Prim again:
Do you feel you have picked up much technical knowledge as a part of
the acting? Do you have any desire to follow through on that, to try
filming, editing, directing, makeup, etc. yourself?
Jed: I've directed
and written and produced my own short and am collaborating at present
on a feature film so yeah soon I hope to do all of these.
Q15. Primula once more: Do you have any
"blooper" memories (family friendly, of course!) that you would be
willing to share?
Jed: Yeah my teeth
for Sharku were so big that speaking in them reduced the crew to
hysterics, the words sounding like. "Tha tha tha tha, tha tha tha da
Q16. Prim’s last
question: Do you find as time goes on that the cast and crew are still
interested in keeping touch or collaborating on projects, or have they
pretty much moved on to other events?
Jed: No we keep in
touch and of course we would like to work together. It is convincing
the people with the money to part with it for a project. The will to
work together is always there when you have had a great time doing
Q17. Éowyn of Ithilien
wanted to know: Did you do the voice of Sharku? ("He took a little
tumble off the cliff..." Great line.) While Gwallgofdy asked: How did
you get your voice to sound so wonderfully horrible during the Sharku
Jed: We had black
blood in my mouth for that scene and it was very cold so the voice is a
mixture of those elements and acting "Dying" You kinda pretend you are
Q18. m4sure asked:
You played such a diverse range of characters in all the 3 movies...did
you ever get confused & mix the roles up a little?
Jed: No you see they all look different.
Q19. m4sure’s next
question: You said that once you were made up in costume...you looked
& felt evil. Did you ever scare any of the cast members...if so
Jed: No you had to go all out to scare this
crew. By the end everyone was unscarable.
Q20. m4’s last: If you had a chance to do
LOTR again...what character would you like to be & why?
Jed: Well obviously
Aragorn, but then I don't believe I could do the part justice. Viggo is
Aragorn. Any attempt now would be so measured against that portrayal.
asked: Did you know that your dialogue (as Snaga) would be looped by
Andy Serkis, and what did you think of his voice for your character?
Jed: Yeah i was
unfortunately not in the UK when they post sunk that scene. He did a
great job. But I have to say the original I did was not that different.
He did a great me.
Thanks again for your time, Jed, and for
lending your talent to help make LOTR the stunning cinematic journey it
has been. The fans will never forget nor lose their love and loyalty
toward all those who have made our dreams come true. ~ Lith
Responses and thanks from the fans:
Bregalad: Thanks! It was interesting about the part his son played. I
hadn't known that.
: Thanks - That was great!
Queen of Gondor: Yep! Thanks soooooo much, Jed! It's so awesome that
you answered these for us! (((((Jed))))) My question was
answered! The answers were so cool to read!! Thanks!
m4sure: Will have to send you the movie of Jed I got at C5 one of these
Primula: This is wonderful - thank you so much, Jed (and Lith
Tinidril: Oh my goodness! Your son was *perfect* as Eldarion! Thanks
for taking the time to answer! =)
sarahstitcher: Ditto! I thought he was perfect. Thanks, Jed, for the
time, this was great!
Old Toby: Great interview! Thanks Lith and Jed! I wondered who that was
that played Eldarion. Terrific!
Evermind: Hey, thanks for organising all this Lith, it's so great to
Frodo Baggins: Thank you so much!! You have one of the most beautiful
boys I have ever seen. I loved him!
fellowshipfan: Thanks Jed!! It is wonderfully kind of you to do this
KingundertheMountain: Thanks Jed!! A wonderful read.
Lothithil: Thanks, Jed! This was a wonderful and interesting
m4sure: Thanx so much (((JED))) for answering my questions!...and
a BIG thanx again for allowing me
to film you at Collectormania5...eating that sticky iced bun of yours!
Thanx again for being such a lovely man!
Vaires: Those were great questions. I enjoyed reading his
Gideon: HUGE thanx to Jed for answering our questions and Lith for
organising the interview.