Total Film recently flew to New Zealand to catch up with Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, et al, on set of epic Lord Of The Rings prequel, The Hobbit.
When we asked lead Freeman about the burden of taking on the title role of Bilbo Baggins, he replied with trademark humility: “I honestly don’t feel that pressure, no.”
“I really, really don’t. Of course, it is Bilbo’s journey, but I didn’t write it. I’m not directing it… It’s not my film. It’s Peter’s film.”
Though Freeman seems like perfect casting for the diminutive hero (and despite PJ saying “there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us”), commitments to BBC TV drama Sherlock almost kept him from the role.
“I was sad but I thought, ‘I’ll just hate whoever plays Bilbo’,” he told us with a wry smile.
On the challenges of starring in such a vast production, he added: “The hardest thing is staying ‘up’ and peppy when you’re covered in snot or mud, day after day… I’m sure there’s more to come.”
“So far, what we’ve filmed has been more comic than heavy. I keep asking Pete [Jackson], ‘When are we going heavy?’ He assures me it’s coming!”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on 14 December 2012.
For more on The Hobbit, get the new issue of Total Film magazine, which hits newsstands on 22 December 2011.
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