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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Inspiration to Diet ~ Pics from the King Kong DVD Extras....

Posted on 2006.04.24 at 17:32
Tags: ,
As some of you know, my daughter is a huge fan of the recent King Kong film, directed by Peter Jackson. I accompanied her to all three viewings she attended -- in maternal and fannish companionship.

I may not love the film the way she does, but I did think it was a very good film. Moreover I know what it means to have someone else to squee to.

The day the DVD went on sale, she took her shiny new license and drove up to the store to buy her copy. Would I watch the movie again with her? Sure. Would I watch the Extras with her? *awkward pause* Didn't I want to watch the DVD extras with her? *blustery* Sure I did!

So I watched the DVD extras and found New Inspiration for going on that diet I keep not going on....

Right off the bat, the extras for King Kong in no way touch what came with the LotR EE's, but this is not an EE, just a regular theatrical release. What was I expecting? But there were some interesting segments.

For one thing, it was great seeing my "friends" on the production side of Peter Jackson's films. I feel like they are my friends, LOL, having at one time nearly memorized the contents of the LotR EE DVD extras.

"Awww, doesn't Dan Hennah still look cute and fluffy?" I crooned to my daughter. She thought he looked old then and old now. I'm so old I did little swoons for Bernard Hill and Alan Lee in the LotR DVD extras. She just thought of them as equivalent to people's grandparents. "And there's Richard Taylor -- don't he and Tanya look good?" I raved. "Oh, and look -- Andrew Lesnie cut off his wild man hair! -- boo hoo hoo! But Jamie Selkirk and Grant Major look the same...."

Peter Jackson's picture I had seen here and there during the filming, so I was somewhat prepared to see him looking svelte. And he really, really did. Look svelte. Svelter and svelter as the King Kong extras progressed, since the "Production Diaries" were filmed and put together in chronological sequence during the time he was continuing to lose weight.

As PJ talked to the camera (in his funky shirt), I kept thinking, "Who does he remind me of...?" I finally decided he had got around to looking like Dom Monaghan's older brother, if he had one, but with dark hair. Isn't that funny? But if tubby PJ was hobbit-ish, thin-PJ is puckish, as dis Dom.

He also looked tired. Still kindly, smart and good to work for and with, but tired. It's not that he didn't look good slim, appearance-wise, or that he looked suddenly older, but he did project a comparatively low energy level in these extras, as if he were having to husband his reserves. Which he might have been, if his reducing diet was extremely rigorous, and it appears to have been rigorous judging from the speed of the results. I've been on diets so stringent they altered my behaviour, making me seem uncharacteristically low-key. It could have happened to him, too.

Then we got to the section of the Extras on ADR. That's when they record all the dialogue and vocalizations afterwards. As for LotR, almost all of the dialogue this film was re-recorded by the actors in the studio.

I was sitting on the couch watching the scene. The documenter's camera entered the ADR studios. Inside, a man and a woman were sitting on a sofa watching the footage and talking. As the camera moved closer, they began speaking to the camera, laughing and joking and explaining. I recognized the man as the actor, Colin Hanks, who plays Preston in the film (yes, he's Tom Hank's son in real life). But who was the woman? She looked terribly familiar. Even more familiar was her voice, with its New Zealand twang.

"Who's that?" I asked my daughter, who hangs out on KK messageboards and knows everything.

"Mom," she groaned, rolling her eyes in exasperated disbelief. "Can't you tell? It's Philippa Boyens!"

No, I couldn't tell. Once she had told me, of course it was obvious to me. But I really hadn't known! Like Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, too, went on a Big Diet. She looked great. And, unlike PJ, she didn't seem one bit tired. She seemed more alive than ever - vivacious, bright, full of joie de vivre.

I posted two screencaps of her, below, but they don't do her justice. It was not just that her face was slimmer or her hair style slightly different. She was recognizable. She didn't turn into a twenty-year-old starlet. It was her manner, her aura, if you will, that had altered. She looked like a woman for whom it was a pleasure to be alive. A woman who felt attractive. A woman who was getting laid a lot and loving it.

"Heck," I thought to myself, a little envious and wistful. "I remember looking and feeling like that, eons ago when I went on my last diet that really worked. I, too, felt as though I had emerged a rejuvenated, restored woman: A Goddess. it looks like Philippa is feeling pretty goddess-y these days, too.

* * *

Because I am betting few of you saw King Kong, and that fewer of you liked it, and fewer still might have seen its DVD extras, I am posting the pictures of Peter and Philippa below.

No hard feelings, Philippa and PJ, for trashing some of Frodo's scenes. Honest.

* * *

Here are some shots of PJ at various stages of weight loss, working on King Kong, from "The Production Diaries":

~ PJ talking to the camera for the DVD extras commentary: (Love that shirt, PJ!)

~ PJ holding the metal "skeleton" of the real puppet used for the original 1933 King Kong:

~ Pete directing the shifting around of logs for a set:

~ Pete directing a pair of extras, a husband and wife team, for the scene in which King Kong rampages around Manhattan:

~ Pete directing a scene in the hold of the ship with Adrien Brody and Jack Black (Andy Serkis, who was a scream in the role of Lumpy the cook, is in the doorway):

Two shots of Philippa Boyens from the section on ADR from "The Production Diaries":

I really am happy for them both, having struggled with weight on and off since puberty.

Go PJ and Philippa! I hope to let them serve as role models, to jump-start my own stalled efforts.

~ Mechtild


shirebound at 2006-04-24 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
They both truly look like different people. What an amazing transformation. May they be enjoying everything in life they've earned!

Right off the bat, the extras for King Kong in no way touch what came with the LotR EE's, but this is not an EE, just a regular theatrical release. What was I expecting? But there were some interesting segments.

FOTR was the first DVD I ever watched (ever!), and I remember a friend telling me, "Now don't think all DVD's are going to be like this. This is something really special." The production values on the LOTR DVD's is just beyond belief, and now that I've seen other DVD movies, I really can appreciate it that much more. Omigosh, what went into the making of those films, DVD's, and extras... unbelievable.
mechtild at 2006-04-25 01:03 (UTC) (Link)
FotR was the first DVD you ever watched???? Not just the Extras????

Hey, Shirebound, you know what? I think it was the first DVD I ever watched, too. No -- it was the EE of ForR. In fact, I think we bought our first DVD player purposely so that "Mom can watch the show she's nutty about."

Since I never watched television, and rarely even watched videos of films, I had zero incentive to invest in anything extra. Tapes were good enough. Whenever my husband and daughter would lobby for a DVD player I'd say, no, what we have is fine for our uses. And I stuck with that veto, since we hadn't money to spare, UNTIL I became an LotR fan. When I learned that there would be an EE version, and that its massive "extras" (much touted on the messageboards) would only be available in a DVD version, I said, "OK: let's go to the electronics store."

My husband and daughter were ecstatic.

THEN, when the RotK EE was going to come out, I pulled out all the stops. Their jaws dropped when I said, "Let's get a new TV with a bigger screen." To this day my husband has teased me how grateful he is to Peter Jackson for letting him get a DVD player and a big TV set.

You are so right about how superb all the LotR DVD's are, inlcuding the Extras. They are wonders in their own rights. Even my daughter continues to say, "Lord of the Rings spoiled me for other movies, Mom. They just all seem so 'bleh' compared to them." How much she loves PJ's King Kong is demonstrated by her tentative admission that she thought she might like it as well as TTT, her least favourite of the three LotR films (she does love it, just not the best).

Isn't that cute?

(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-04-25 01:13 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, she does/did. None of the screencaps of her were that good because the interview footage was not that well focussed, camera-wise. But the way she held herself, poised but relaxed, the way she talked, tossed her hair, tilted her head; all of it revealed a woman who felt really good about herself.

I felt so happy for her, knowing what a struggle it is to achieve and what a feeling it is to finally be unencumbered -- like dropping a ball and chain.

Peter did look happy and fit, but, as I said, unnaturally low in verve and spirits - for him, that is. Maybe he had just mellowed out that much in temperament, but I was inclined to attribute it to low energy physically, from rapid weight loss.

As you might guess, I am one of those LotR film-fans who loved the behind-the-scenes material, as well as the people who appeared in it. No matter how much I disliked this or that choice made by the director and writers, for instance, I felt great affection for them, and gratitude, as I did for most of the on-screen production crew and designers. I felt as though they were people I actually knew and cared about, although they were just as unknown to me (really) as any of the actors who played roles.
stillscarlet at 2006-04-25 01:41 (UTC) (Link)


Haven't they done well? I imagine it would be pretty difficult to lose that much weight while also working (incredibly hard, if I know anything about those two - especially PJ!) on King Kong. I've slimmed down a lot in the last six months, and it's taken a fair amount of work and concentration; I don't know if I could have done it if I had been really busy with another project. But maybe that's just me. All hail Philippa and PJ! bow

If you want to lose weight yourself, Mech, go for it! You'll feel much better. :)
mechtild at 2006-04-25 01:52 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow!

If you want to lose weight yourself, Mech, go for it! You'll feel much better. :)

Makes note: *lose weight, will feel much better*

Oh, I'm just teasing.

But go, you, Scarlet. You had mentioned that you were trying to become more fit. Your progress sounds great - and inspiring.

I agree that it would have been the devil to diet while filming. A lot of people (like me) want to eat all the more when they are under pressure and feeling stressed. From what I saw, there was no dearth of stress or pressure going around. As with LotR, it looks like they ended up attempting far more in terms of quanitity and quality than what they set out to do (making King Kong), and, as with the LotR films, they barely got things in for the deadlines, sending off the final cut film can by bleeding film can, to be made into prints.
maewyn_2 at 2006-04-25 01:50 (UTC) (Link)
You know, if Peter Jackson cut his hair and shaved off his beard, he would be totally unrecognisable! The only thing that would give him away would be his voice!

However, it suits him well. In the picture where he's wearing the colourful shirt, he looks quite handsome. I agree that Phillipa looks wonderful too.

I went to see King Kong. However, I felt it went too long, particularly the scenes on board the ship at the beginning. I know that it was necessary to lay the foundations of the story, but...too long for me. I could feel my attention beginning wander long before they arrived at the island.

I loved the dinosaurs (particularly the ones swinging in the vines!), but the stampede scene was overdone. As for those sucker things - yes...rather different!!!
mechtild at 2006-04-25 02:01 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Maewyn!

I had seen photos of Peter from his early days, so I knew he once looked very different from his LotR self, but he was practically a kid then.

I think his slim look suits him, too, although I thought he looked very *pinchable* as the barefoot-hobbit innkeeper-director.

Me, I loved the first hour best of all, the part before they see a single dinosaur. I loved the New York stuff and all of the ship stuff with all the loads of atmosphere. But most viewers and critics would agree with you, Maewyn. Almost everyone who commented thought the exposition, the set-up was too long. Some complained about the creature scenes, too, especially the bug pit. Not that they didn't think the bugs were cool, but that the scene was totally gratuitous. If cut, it would not have changed the film at all and they'd be right.

Me, I could have done with fewer stretches of all the bugs and dinosaurs. Again, I loved them all (yes, the combat while swinging on the vines was great - I wouldn't even have cut any of it), I wouldn't throw any of them out -- but thought they each went on for too long. As if PJ were simply letting himself indulge his fantasies, just for the fun of it, as something he'd always wanted to do -- "OH BOY GIMME MONSTERS AND CREATURES JUST IN CASE I NEVER GET TO DO A MONSTER FILM AGAIN."
lame_pegasus at 2006-04-25 11:57 (UTC) (Link)
You know, I saw a photograph of PJ about six months ago and had to rub my eyes because I thought I saw a man twenty years younger than the teddybear with glasses I'd hd so much fun to see while watching the LOTR-extras on DVD.

Congrats to him... and thanks again. Had it not been for him and to his deep devotion to the trilogy, I'd hardly dared to write. He fulfilled himself a dream, and we are the same age, therefore I thought I should try myself... and am writing again, after a long pause of more than twenty years. And the shock of seeing him so changed - plus the thought of a flight to the USA with being completely unable to close the safetey belt around my all too rounded middle section - helped me to finally join the Weight Watchers when they established a group in my hometown. That was back in February, and I have already lost more than 35 american pounds meanwhile.

And - oh dear! Philippa Boyens is a beauty, isn't she?
lame_pegasus at 2006-04-25 12:04 (UTC) (Link)
Oh - and I simply loved the movie. I sat there when I watched it for the first time, secretly grinning, and imagining a small, excited boy with short trousers, sitting in the movies somewhere in New Zealand, and enjoying every single minute of the old movie with Fay Wray. That helped a lot to enjoy it with exactly the same attitude, dinosaurs and bugs and all. And the scenes between King Kong and Anne were deeply moving.
wendylady1 at 2006-04-25 17:44 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Peter and Philippa most definitely DO look absolutely fantastic in their new-look svelte bodies...and I wish that I, too could just lose that recalcitrant thirty pounds or so...

Belegcuthalion, you have done very well to lose that much so far...well done !! Keep up the excellent work...

I have restarted my G.I.Diet from last year - just before Christmas, I lost a stone ( 14 lbs ) in just over a two month period, and I really do think that is the key...don't lose it too fast !! Two or three pounds per week is exactly right to have any chance at all of success, in getting it off and also keeping it off !!

The G.I.Diet has worked for me, mainly because it isn't so much a diet as a good way of eating for your own body-type...helps you enormously if you have Diabetes too...

Recently, I have been having rather painful twinges around all my leg joints, especially my hip joints and my right knee...now this is very probably due to too much work-related activity...( there are only so many walls you can paint and so many ladders you can climb in one day !! )...but I also think that if I lost the excess thirty pounds or so, I would be putting so much less strain on all those load-bearing joints...I really hate the idea of arthritis later on in life, and so I have decided to do something about this now, and losing some weight is the first action on the list !!

According to the weight chart for my height, I should be around 9st 7lbs - 10st 7lbs, and I currently weigh 11st 12lbs...so you see, I have around 30 lbs to lose, or thereabouts !! By the way :- 14 lbs to a stone ...I've just remembered that you don't have stones in America...D'oh !!

I will be updating in my journal, about this soon, so if anyone would like to diet with me then watch out for my posts there ...

mechtild at 2006-04-25 22:29 (UTC) (Link)
I remember reading about your diet in the fall, Wendy. It sounded super-healthy and sensible. I began to have some arthritic joints at about fifty, probably in cahoots with the onset of menopause. Mine is mostly in my end finger joints, but the rest will catch up. It's in my family. Yes, losing the pounds would help enormously - it did the last time I lost a lot of weight transitioning into the early fifties. But I've put more than half of it back on in the past two years. Naughty, naughty.

I've just remembered that you don't have stones in America...D'oh !!

Sorry. This made me laugh. The men all have stones, anyway.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-04-25 21:04 (UTC) (Link)
Could you repost those pics in about a year or so?? That's when I will be allowed to go on a diet again!! And I need to lose about 10 to 15 kilo. :)
mechtild at 2006-04-25 22:32 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but you are going to gain and lose weight for other reasons. *grin*

Could you repost those pics in about a year or so??

Alas, maybe neither of them will be svelte in another year. If they are like a lot of eaters, they may gain some or all of it back. But Pete was slim as a younger man, so it's not as though he's fighting a truly life-long propensity. I don't know about Philippa.

pearlette at 2006-04-25 22:28 (UTC) (Link)

Random comments - firing at will

PJ looks great! :)

And as for Philippa B. ...!!!! She looks FABULOUS.

She looked like a woman for whom it was a pleasure to be alive. A woman who felt attractive. A woman who was getting laid a lot and loving it.

'Struth. Lucky moo! Wow yes, there most certainly is an aura! :p

I wasn't bowled over by the Kong movie, but the Ann/Kong relationship was excellent.

You know ... PJ and Philippa are just so damn nice that one very readily forgives them for what they did (at times) to Frodo's characterisation. Like you, I enjoy the DVD extras enormously.

And yes: FOTR:EE was also the first DVD I ever saw!!!! :)

The other Philippa

PS. Mechtild, I love your icon. The one of the naked man and woman. Who are they??????

mechtild at 2006-04-26 00:58 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Random comments - firing at will

I knew you didn't like King Kong much. In fact few of my LJ friends did, so I never bothered to write a big "why-I-liked-it-a-lot" post. Who would pet me?

The icon? Found it looking for naked bodies for a Frodo manip. It's an illustration by an artist name Becat (accent on the e?), for Fanny Hill. I am guessing it's a piccie of Fanny with the fellow she actually was besotted with, not one of her quickies or johns.

Here's a link to the uncut picture. You can see that even in previous centuries, at least if the artist was male, size mattered somewhat. I thought this pic was yummy in its entirety, but far too explicit to use as an icon, even on my own LJ.

Paul Emile Becat's illustration for Fanny Hill:


This is actually one of his least graphic drawings, since there is no actual genital contact. Most of his stuff is hard-core porn, even if it is painted or drawn in very pretty ways. He was born in 1885 and was doing paintings (and pin-ups) during the early part of the twentieth century. His porn/erotica that I've seen in web galleries is often set in the 18th and 19th centuries. His other stuff is exceedingly graphic, yet romantic for porn (in my opinion). There are some same-sex plates of his, too (men with men and women with women). There's one of three men standing about in what looks like Ital. Ren. clothes with their hose dropped that reminds me of an illustration for Mariole's THALOF. Nothing is going on in it, but they are all ... erm ... looking Mariole-ficcish. But I'm old-fashioned; I like to read about -- or see -- two people connecting with each other with intimacy, whether the sex is graphic or only suggested.

I plan to download all the plates of his that will make good crops for icons.

breelee10 at 2006-04-27 23:14 (UTC) (Link)
Hey Mech, you hit the nail RIGHT on the head! I was scrolling down the pictures of PJ, and he definately looks quite a bit like Dom. It's something in the eyebrows and the nose I think... face shape? Not to mention they both have that adorable boyish charm.

I need to go buy this King Kong DVD! I was one of the LotR fans who also loved King Kong. Not nearly as much as LotR, but I definately left the theater feeling like I'd gotten my money's worth. I guess I could have done with less monsters/spiders/dinosaurs (esp. the human eating leechish pink blob things), but in the end, I thought it was great.
mechtild at 2006-04-28 01:02 (UTC) (Link)
Bree! *leaps upon you*

Long time, no see! Is school almost done? You must be frazzled.

I am so glad to hear you enjoyed King Kong. Not many LotR fans did, I got the impression, especially the Frodo-centric ones. As with LotR, Pete and his crew attempted something massive. It didn't always reach its mark, but it strove so high, what it achieved was extremely impressive, I thought.

Yes, he looks very Dom-ish in the interviews. It reassures me to hear someone else sees it. He dips his chin when he looks into the camera, so that he is looking at the viewer from under his brows, ever so slightly. Add the facial hair, the little puckish smile, the twinkle in the eye, and you get Dom's uncle or older cousin with dark hair.
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