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Faramir interview - spoilers you'll like!

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Snaga

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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?
A: Exactly.

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?
A: Yes.

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.
 

PRH

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There's some good stuff in there but I hope that this is a mistake indeed:
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?
 

Snaga

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Yes I wondered about that. But I couldn't make sense of it. DW doesn't commit himself, so I'm not leaping to any conclusions.
 

Ged

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VoK,
Thank you for a really fantastic post. Faramir is without doubt a noble character, and to know he is being played by somebody so empathic is reassuring.

I really liked this:

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.

This very much implies to me that we WILL see this scene. This was always one of the events that Tolkien said had happened but never described. When he said the book was too short, maybe this was the sort of scene he had in mind.

No doubt the cynics will sneer that PJ might put this scene in. Personally I can't wait.
 

Thorin

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Well, it seems that "Faramir" has a good grasp on his character...Actually, he was one of the only actors (except Theoden) whom I thought was cast well. This little quote bothers me, however, and once again shows how uninformed some of the media are:

quote from the interviewer:
"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."


Since when has Faramir ALWAYS loved Eowyn? They make it sound like they practically grew up together....Faramir meets with Eowyn for the first time in the Houses of Healing. Though I'm sure he has heard of her and maybe seen her before....That is pretty misleading....

quote from Ged:
"No doubt the cynics will sneer that PJ might put this scene in. Personally I can't wait."

If you're implying we purists when you say cynics, I don't know where you get that idea from...I hope that PJ puts that scene in...I think that is one of the most dramatic and tense scenes. Tolkien leaves alot to the imagination and I would like to see it played out for "real".
 

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Thorin,
Okay, I'll desist from using the word "cynic". It's just that I don't like the word "purist" either, as if some people are keepers of some sort of sacred flame. Can you suggest an alternative?
 

PRH

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Small spoilers!!:

Well, I know there was a scene filmed of Faramir being dragged behind his horse after the Nazgul encounter. That doesn't prove the actual encounter was shot but it does suggest it.

Also, I know the wedding between Eowyn and Faramir was shot.

This all comes from Harry's (AICN) visit to the set.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Ged
VoK,
Thank you for a really fantastic post. Faramir is without doubt a noble character, and to know he is being played by somebody so empathic is reassuring.

I really liked this:

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.

This very much implies to me that we WILL see this scene. This was always one of the events that Tolkien said had happened but never described. When he said the book was too short, maybe this was the sort of scene he had in mind.

No doubt the cynics will sneer that PJ might put this scene in. Personally I can't wait.
I'm not sure if you're referring to me or not. I certainly don't mind PJ illustrating scenes that occurred in the book but were not adequately described. I am confused by the interviewer's description of the battle. Faramir was in retreat from Sauron's forces. There were Nazgul overhead and he was infected with the black breath... but his wound was from a Southron arrow. If he changes the chronology of the works, I will be upset. How Eowyn could be in the Houses of Healing, fearing Aragorn's death on the Path's of Dead? Heck, it was Aragorn that healed her in the first place. Is this saying that Aragorn goes on the Paths of the Dead after the Battle of Pelannor Fields? That doesn't make sense. I feel the interviewer may have his facts confused. :)
 

Thorin

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Originally posted by Grond
How Eowyn could be in the Houses of Healing, fearing Aragorn's death on the Path's of Dead? Heck, it was Aragorn that healed her in the first place. Is this saying that Aragorn goes on the Paths of the Dead after the Battle of Pelannor Fields? That doesn't make sense. I feel the interviewer may have his facts confused. :)
It could be, Grond, that this might be true because the last contact Eowyn had with Aragorn is when he left to go through the paths of the dead,so it is normal that she would worry how that went....and with PJ's mightily compressed time frame, the battle of Pelennor probably occured a few days after Aragorn left. After all, it only took less then a week for the hobbits to get from the Shire to Rivendell...:D
 

Snaga

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It doesn't make 100% sense does it? Its partly what makes it so interesting. I had the impression that DAvid knew the interviewer was getting all sorts of stuff wrong but was saying nothing that would give too much away
 

Thorin

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Originally posted by Variag of Khand
I had the impression that David knew the interviewer was getting all sorts of stuff wrong but was saying nothing that would give too much away
I wouldn't necessarily state that (though David seems to know LotR). Some of these actors make me wonder (from their interviews) if they've even read the book and just got their ideas from the screenplay. Out of all the hobbits, only Dominic? (Merry) seemed to know what the heck he was talking about when they were explaining LoTR.....Viggo never even read the book before he filmed, for crying out loud.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Thorin


I wouldn't necessarily state that (though David seems to know LotR). Some of these actors make me wonder (from their interviews) if they've even read the book and just got their ideas from the screenplay. Out of all the hobbits, only Dominic? (Merry) seemed to know what the heck he was talking about when they were explaining LoTR.....Viggo never even read the book before he filmed, for crying out loud.
Surely you're not implying that an actor should be a student of LotR to qualify to act in the film? That is just a little too demanding for me. Viggo read the book before shooting and enjoyed it. Also, given the lattitude that PJ has taken with the script, being too knowledgeable would probably be a detriment to making the movie. I know if I was playing Aragorn, PJ and I would have already had numerous fist fights over characterization issues.
 

Thorin

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Originally posted by Grond
Surely you're not implying that an actor should be a student of LotR to qualify to act in the film? That is just a little too demanding for me. Viggo read the book before shooting and enjoyed it. Also, given the lattitude that PJ has taken with the script, being too knowledgeable would probably be a detriment to making the movie. I know if I was playing Aragorn, PJ and I would have already had numerous fist fights over characterization issues.
Actually, I am implying just that. The casters should have found the best person to play the part who has at least read and enjoyed the book more then once (and come one folks, you can't tell me that most of the actors who were cast could not have been replaced by a better actor)

Maybe that is unreasonable, but if you're going to portray a character in a book that has garnered millions of followers for over 50 years and considered the best book of the millenium, I would think that you would have a better grasp on it then some of the actors have had....I think that is why seasoned actors like Holm, McKellan and Lee did such a good job with their characters because they've read the books numerous times, involved themselves with LoTR in different areas (Holm with BBC) and loved the books...

Now I'm not saying that they should be avid students or know as much as the three actors mentioned above, but holy smokes! Some of them barely HEARD of LoTR never mind never read it before....To me that is just BAD.
 

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Thorin, I felt Viggo made an excellent Aragorn. He was limited by the script and not his acting abilities. And, I can't believe that you thought Christopher did a better job than some of the others. He was the least credible of all the characters. That is not how I pictured Saruman... but different strokes for different folks.
 

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I thought Saruman was spot on... except no amazing technicolor dreamcoat.;)
 

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VoK, I always pictured Aragorn by his line, "All that is gold does not glitter..." Aragorn looked foul and felt fair.

I always pictured (the Book) Saruman by the reputation of his "voice" and I pictured him by a line I created which went, "all that glitters isn't necessarily gold..." Saruman (to me) always looked fair and felt foul.

But, alas, those are just my own feelings and I felt that Christopher Lee did not personify those qualities. To me, he neither looked nor felt fair at all. He seemed to personify an evil in the way I would expect Sauron to do but, again, those are my personal feelings and everyone's are different. :)
 

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Nice to read about this interview. It gave me the idea this actor is into his character pretty good.

I don't think an actor has to be grown up with LOTR in order to play his or her part in it as best. A good read an an open mind should be enough for a good actor IMHO. As long as he or she has read the original to get the true feeling, I'm happy enough. I mean 'Galadriel' (Kate Blanchett, ?names, names?) was in it for the pointy ears, and she did a good job considering the time they gave her in the movie.
 

Snaga

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Originally posted by Grond
VoK, I always pictured Aragorn by his line, "All that is gold does not glitter..." Aragorn looked foul and felt fair.

I always pictured (the Book) Saruman by the reputation of his "voice" and I pictured him by a line I created which went, "all that glitters isn't necessarily gold..." Saruman (to me) always looked fair and felt foul.

But, alas, those are just my own feelings and I felt that Christopher Lee did not personify those qualities. To me, he neither looked nor felt fair at all. He seemed to personify an evil in the way I would expect Sauron to do but, again, those are my personal feelings and everyone's are different. :)
I see what you are getting at Grond. But I think at the beginning of the scene between Gandalf and Saruman, before Saruman reveals his betrayal, he comes across as quite benevolent. Patronising to be sure, but wise and good. Its only later that you suddenly see that he has fallen. A good transition IMO. The later shots are Saruman with his orcs, where he hardly needs to appear to be a good guy. It will be interesting to see how well he pulls off the parley at Isengard after he has been defeated, when he tries to use the power of his voice, and almost succeeds.
 
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