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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

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

Posted on 2006.10.17 at 12:31
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.


shirebound at 2006-10-17 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
This is just adorable stuff. What fun!
mechtild at 2006-10-17 22:43 (UTC) (Link)
Isn't it fun? I love that about the Extras for all the DVD's, the way they make us fans feel included.
hobbitlove83 at 2006-10-17 19:55 (UTC) (Link)
No, I haven't seen the limited editions yet (just got word they've been shippend- it might take a month before I get them..) but I don't mind spoilers.
In fact, yours make me look forward to watching them all the more!

Pics and dialogue just make such a lovely preview, and they bring across that atmosphere of male bonding and camaraderie perfectly. Surely it must have been an eye opener for Elijah, and a wonderful one at that!

Thank you for sharing, darling!
mechtild at 2006-10-17 22:45 (UTC) (Link)
Cool icon, Hobbitlove! Well, I'm glad you are not *spoiled* by visiting. Yeah, it sounds like that most of what they shared was a lot of fun, entering into lasting friendships.
lily_the_hobbit at 2006-10-17 20:11 (UTC) (Link)
That somehow reminds me of a Craig Parker (Haldir) and Mark Furgeson (Gil-Galad) panel at RingCon. They were comparing the weapons of each people ... well, of hobbits, men and elves... and Mark said: "Some people have tiny little daggers, some people have sword and there are very few people *insert suggestive smile here* that have a SPEAR!"
mechtild at 2006-10-17 22:46 (UTC) (Link)
Is that a funny story! Those two must be comedians off-screen.

You know, in the Two Towers extras, there's also a lot of amusing interaction between the actors who played Gamling and Hama. It's not naughty, but exemplary of that "guy-friends" ease and camaraderie. I really enjoyed watching this set of extras.
pearlette at 2006-10-17 20:22 (UTC) (Link)
It's the arrows that count.


Good grief, isn't Viggo just so damn HOT as Aragorn.

mechtild at 2006-10-17 22:47 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, hot, hot, hot. And funny. Maybe I should watch the Two Towers tonight after choir....?
bandwench at 2006-10-17 20:40 (UTC) (Link)
The screen caps are a delight; the childish boy jokes are endearing, but neither of these would be nearly as much fun without your spot-on commentary. Thank you for including all three!
mechtild at 2006-10-17 22:50 (UTC) (Link)
Why, thank you, Bandwench. I consider that high praise, since your own LJ is so entertainingly written. Yes, their pranks are endearing. There is a big difference between mean-boy-pranks and those that real comrades play on each other.

I think it was great that there were men of all ages and levels of life experience on this shoot. That must have helped things from getting too over the top, which might have been the case if all the men were young and sparring for who was top dog.
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mariole at 2006-10-18 00:06 (UTC) (Link)
They're so ridiculous! I agree, I love your commentary. Viggo's got a great retort. Orlando I think was also a little out of his league, first big film, sort of finding his feet. Whereas Viggo always struck me as a "get the job done" kind of guy, very workmanlike and trying to make the best of an endless shoot with a kid back home that he missed. I hope they can look back in fondness on this very special time in their lives.
mechtild at 2006-10-18 02:23 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I think they both do. Viggo is a very earthy man, very conscientiously earth-friendly and respectful of other peoples, as well as artistic and poetic in a general way. If nothing else made him feel the shoot was worth it, surely the heartfelt devotion and admiration of his "men" - the stunties and extras who worked with him all those ong hours - would have made the experience special. When they did that Maori hakka for him (which, they explained, they did for kings) at the end (RotK extras), I am sure he felt incredibly honoured. How many shoots would that ever happen on?

I think Bloom had a great time, too, but just doing all the boy stuff he liked - surfing, bungee jumping, drinking in the whole aura of film-makingk, and talking the hind end off a mule, that sort of thing. He definitely was out of his league playing "who's clow is bigger" with Viggo, though.

When I watch the extras, I often think that of all the major cast members, Orlando seemed the youngest, the most boyish in his outlook and behaviour. He did a great job as Legolas (I thought) but he really does seem like a kid.
julchen11 at 2006-10-27 22:25 (UTC) (Link)
"That Viggo! You've gotta love him."
What an amazing post, sweetheart. So funny and great.
Isn't it great to be a FAN of all that? I LOVE the extras so very much, I can't tell you.
mechtild at 2006-10-27 22:30 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Julchen, weren't they cute? I think Viggo definitely trounced Orli, if gently, in the "bigger bow" exchange. What a great group they were. I am so glad the Extras were made so that we could feel a part of it.
a_lexxy at 2015-06-08 12:08 (UTC) (Link)
That's cool! So funny moments)))
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