Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

LotR Limited Ed. DVD Extras (TTT) ~ with Billy, Dom, Viggo, & Orlando

Guys Will Be Guys....

Note: Spoilers -- if you don't want to know what's on this DVD.

One of the differences between the behind-the-scenes materials that got included in the EE Extras and the ones on these new DVD's is a franker atmosphere. The number of blipped-out obscenities is not greater, but there are more mooments in which cast or crew-members act as if they are *not* 100% thrilled to be working on this production. Some of the responses are frankly testy, others veiled in wry humour. In the Costa Botes material for The Two Towers, there is are also more sexual innuendo (all of it playful, nothing serious). Very guy-related sexual innuendo.

The Two Towers Extras opens with a classic example of "guy humour"....

The camera moves inside a cast trailer: refrigerator, dining nook, an unmade bed beyond. Turned away from the camera-person, back-lit by the window over the rumpled bed, Billy and Dom are apparently examining the view inside their undershorts....

D: Mine is pointing up, and yours is pointing down.

B: Yeah, but yours is a darker colour. D'you see?

D: What? Yours -- yours seems to be slightly thinner, but longer.

B: Yeah, but yours is.... Yeah, it is longer [something about 'peanuts' ]....

D: Yeah. Let's see if it gets a little bit bigger....

As if finally noticing the presence of the camera, they turn and begin pulling up their trousers.

D: Just, erm....

B: Nothing! Just working on...

D: A scene with the ... erm....

B: Isengard! Erm....

Dom wheels around and picks an inflatable doll up off the bed and throws blankets over it, talking over his shoulder.

D: A scene with the hobbits, where ... uh ... the ... erm....

B: ...the Dukes of Hazzard. No! The knights of Rohan.

The doll stowed, they finish tucking in their shirts and buttoning their trousers.

D: Pippin's thing gets infected, and, erm....

B: And there's no doctors, of course.

D: They have to operate, so Merry-- [To the camera person:] You can cut that out, hey, Hayley*?

*Hayley French filmed the behind-the-scenes material along with Costa Botes.

They begin to laugh, move over to the little dinette table, each with his bottle of water, and begin to tell the camera person more fully and seriously about what will be coming up for their two characters, newly captive to the Orcs.


This Extra provides a great opportunity to see these two friends in action, for they appear in it together frequently and at length. From subsequent interviews, it sounds as though their friendship grew quite a bit during this period, helped along by the fact that they had only each other for company, filming Pippin's and Merry's scenes for days at a time in isolation from the rest of the cast.

All in all, I thought the Extras for The Two Towers were consistently interesting, and a lot of fun to watch, if one is interested in more than Elijah Wood. Elijah is in the footage, but not as much as in FotR.

As if it were a theme in this segment, there was another good example of "guy humour". It was not an intentional improv, the way it was with the two hobbit actors, but it was funny nonetheless.

The sequence comes towards the end of the Extras, making a sort of bookend with the guy-jokes at the opening. Most of the male cast members are assembled in a large room, which seems to be an actor's lounge and dressing area. All the actors are in costume and the atmosphere is relaxed and easy. Billy lolls on the couch beside Karl Urban; Dom catches apples in his mouth that Bernard Hill tosses to him.

In the foreground, Orlando Bloom is getting himself into his gear, addressing the camera in a wryly arch manner....

O: I've got a bigger bow than him. He's threatened! (Glances back at Viggo standing in the background.) It's understandable. He's got this piddly little bow, which he pulls out....

O: You're just theatened because I've got a bigger bow than you!

V: It's not the bows that count, it's the arrows....

That Viggo. Ya gotta love him.

What a new milieu this had to be for Elijah Wood, who never went to school. Sure, he knew other guys and men working on sets; he had a brother. But the whole locker-room atmosphere of a lot of the behind-the-scenes is something I'm betting he completely missed, growing up as a working child-actor tutored at home. How lucky for him to be thrown into it after he was already mostly formed as a person. Games of one-upsmanship between males can be pretty intimidating, especially when cruel men or boys dominate a group. But if it is done in a spirit of camaraderie, it can be a very bonding, maybe even a necessary experience for boys and men.

Some modern males find this sort of experience later in life through sweat-lodges at new-age retreat centers, or banging drums in the woods, but most males go through this when they are young: in school, at camp, in the military or any all-male setting in which 'who's got the bigger bow' -- literally or figuratively -- is a matter of keen concern, whether expressed as open intimidation or teasing humour.

But, as Viggo points out, it's the arrows that count.

~ Mechtild

Listing for all Frodo and Elijah screencaps HERE.
Tags: lotr screencaps

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