|Evangeline Lilly, to play Tauriel|
This is a decision where you move away from being a Tolkien fan and you have to be a fan of film. [Oh boy, I thought. Here it comes.] It was a fairly easy decision as well because it just gets a little much – the weight of this masculine energy. It is pretty unrelenting. It’s in a good way and it’s wonderful, the dwarfs remind me of a really good rugby team. They are very staunch, hard dwarfs.We could have introduced a female human character. But we decided on an elf. There was a little story thread in Lord of the Rings that we wanted to pick up on and develop and it involved a very feminine energy, so we decided to use it and the character of Tauriel came into being.
Even though Professor Tolkien did write it for children, it was always set against a larger whole. There are very strong elements that lead you into the wider mythology embedded in The Hobbit. But we wanted very much to keep its unique tone, that’s part of its charm! So we worked very hard at that, especially in this first film, which is your introduction to it all. The Dwarves, for instance, are very different to a bunch of posh Elves on a quest – they’re much more like a rugby team!
Andy Serkis's comments were similar:
We saw our version of The Hobbit as an extension or prequel, so it can be thought of as six films. But it has just tons of humour in it! The characters are very vivid, especially the Dwarves – they’re individual and exciting and fun. There are characters and sub-plots which give it this texture and depth like Rings, but that isn’t to say it doesn’t have a brighter tone.
[M]y entire career I’ve tried to make my stuff real in the context of what it is. Whether it’s zombies or whether it’s Middle-earth or a gorilla, whatever it is, I’ve always tried to make it as real as I possibly can. Like, just down to the texture of the world and the costumes and the languages they speak and the performances of the actors to be authentic, I mean, real is what I’m after and if I can use a 48 frames whatever technology there is to make it more real, that’s fine by me. I don’t subscribe at all to the idea where it’s fantasy so it can't be real. The best fantasy is real.