The Usual Suspect
- Feb 11, 2002
- Reaction score
Interview with Faramir (David Wenham) in an unnamed Italian magazine, originally posted on countingdown.com
Q: Faramir, son of Denethor II, is a proud warrior of Gondor, but with respect to his brother Boromir, who will be one of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, he is more human and fragile. Would you agree?
A: Yes. Boromir has a more focused and aggressive termperament. Faramir instead is, if we think about it, a prototype of an ideal person. The ideal man. There’s a passage in the book that describes my character very well, and it is one in which it is said that Faramir would not kill any creature on earth without having a valid reason. For a man of arms, it is a rather strange rule for life. Faramir is an individual whom it’s very easy to admire.
Q: Why does he not have a good rapport with his father?
A: Faramir finds himself in a rather difficult situation that however is not very different from what can happen to every one of us in life. He has a father who prefers rather theatrically the older brother, Boromir. At times it can happen that the younger brother can be the preferred one. To Faramir, unfortunately, it does not work out that way.
Q: Don’t you think that Denethor can be jealous of Gandalf, towards whom Faramir nourishes a love and a respect worthy of a father?
A: Absolutely. I totally agree. Denethor is very jealous of Gandalf and of the fact that Faramir nourishes a sentiment of great affection towards the wizard. The jealousy of Denethor does not manifest itself in open hatred towards Faramir but rather in an attitude of frustration from which derives in part the Denethor’s choice of preferring Boromir.
Q: Let’s turn to the relationship between Faramir and Eowyn, the lady-warrior whom your character will marry at the end of the three books. Faramir has always loved Eowyn, despite her having always loved, without reciprocation, Aragorn. It’s a situation rather similar to a soap opera . . .
A: I would say that Faramir is essentially the second choice for Eowyn. This relationship among the three, of friendship and love, I think it reflects very well what happens, or has happened to us, in life. It will be a very realistic and credible part of the film. I do not think that Eowyn, in spite of the great love she was attempting for Aragorn, has some regret when at the end she decides to marry Faramir. That’s life. Sometimes it happens that you love someone without love in return, then the circumstances change, and your big opportunity presents itself.
Q: What spin did Peter Jackson put on this very melodramatic aspect of The Lord of the Rings?
A: I think that Peter had has faced this aspect in a very realistic and true way. It has remained very clear with our actors from the beginning of the production. I feel, therefore, that this love story that you see involves Aragorn, Eowyn, and Faramir will permit the audience to immerse themselves in the characters. It will be clear to the audience that Eowyn will pass from her amorous obsession for Aragorn to love for Faramir following a very familiar logic of feelings.
Q: It will be a slow falling in love?
A: Very slow. Completely the opposite of love at first sight.
Q: She will be a prisoner in the hospital that Tolkien calls the Houses of Healing?
Q: Have you shot many scenes in the Houses of Healing?
A: We have shot some scenes.
Q: In the moment in which Faramir and Eowyn confront each other in the Houses of Healing, Eowyn knowns that Aragorn has gone through the Paths of the Dead and thinks that he has died . . . or mistake?
A: It will probably be as you say. I can’t compromise myself too much on this subject.
Q: Your father is acted by an Australian actor, John Noble; Eowyn is played by an Australian actress, Mirando Otto. Your brother Boromir is plaed by a full-blooded Englishman, Sean Bean. Did this exception bother you?
A: I must admit I’ve never thought about it!
Q: You spoke your lines with an English accent?
Q: Will we see the scene of combat between Faramir and the Nazgul in which your character is almost mortally wounded?
A: Now you are getting me in big trouble.
Q: Are you happy with this experience?
A: More than happy. I am enthusiastic and thankful for the privilege that has been granted me. It is a wonderful project directed by an extraordinary director.
Q: Did Jackson give you freedom to improvise or did he hold that you respect the screenplay to the letter?
A: One of the qualities of Peter is that of being such a clear director in communicating to the actors his vision that none of us had ever had much to object to with respect to his instructions.
Q: And the rest of the cast, what can you tell me?
A: The best. Peter remained very courageous in making the casting choices that he made. It would have been more convenient for him to pick more famous actors . . . more famous than myself, for example. Many big stars wanted to make the film, but Peter had chosen his cast in total autonomy. Like every great director would have to do.
Q: Do you know that in Italy, Natalia Aspesi, a very important journalist of the daily “The Republic”, has called the Tolkien book “skinhead?”?
A: Really? But she has read it?
Q: In my country there are many people who think that Tolkien spreads, through his book, right-wing ideals that bear some unbelievable comparisons to skinhead and nazi ideology. Do you think much of this?
A: It’s the first time that I’ve heard a thing of this sort. It’s astonishing and disgraceful that a book that speaks of union among the races, reciprocal respect, and struggle against tyranny would be considered to carry Nazi messages, or as this journalist puts it, skinhead. I would advise her to read the book rather than write idiocy on the subject.