Evangeline Lilly couldn’t say no to playing Tauriel, a not-in-the-book addition to the film “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
The “Lost” alumna had just given birth to her first child when the role came around, and so it should come as no surprise that when she was on set, her motherly side came out around her boss, director Peter Jackson. Evangeline shared the tale when Access Hollywood asked her on Tuesday about which of Peter’s fun quirks she noticed on set.
“He is Mr. Quirk. I mean, Peter Jackson is the guy who goes and does press in his bare feet. He is a quirky man and that was my favorite thing about him, so I was always taking the piss out of him about that — you know, all his little quirks,” she said. “I would often find him after lunch and he’d have little bits of food all over his shirt… or on his face or in his beard.
“And I was always going (licks thumb) — mama grooming him, and going, ‘Come on, Peter. Keep yourself together. This is a professional situation. I don’t want to look at the food on your shirt,’” she smiled while sharing the memory. “And he’d go, ‘I’m saving that for later.’ He’s such a papa.”
Previews for the second installment in “The Hobbit” franchise have revealed what a fierce fighter Evangeline’s Tauriel is, but she and co-star Orlando Bloom, who features heavily in the film as Legolas (his “Lord of the Rings” character), didn’t use real arrows.
“To be an archer that is as gifted as an Elf, especially these two particular Elves — Legolas and Tauriel, who are expert Elves — would require, literally, a lifetime of training. I mean, we got a month of training. So if we were using real arrows, we would not have done those characters justice,” she said.
The actress said one of her challenges as an actress in the film wasn’t learning Elvish, the language the Elves speak. It was getting the accent right.
“The language part was really, really fun for me,” she said. “I love languages. I do speak French and there are a lot of common sounds in French vowels and Elvish vowels,” she said.
“I had a blast learning Elvish. Learning the accent was nerve wracking because there’s like two people in the world who can criticize you if you do Elvish wrong, they’re gonna notice. Everyone in the world ‘s gonna notice if you do an accent poorly,” she added. “So that was very nerve wracking for me.”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is out in theaters on December 13, and although she’s already seen the film, which premiered on Monday in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre, Evangeline plans to see it again around the holidays. It’s a tradition she and her family had of seeing movies back when Peter’s previous trilogy was out.
“’Lord of the Rings’ was a family Christmas tradition. We would go every Christmas to see the films and now ‘The Hobbit’ has become the replacement for that. So at an undisclosed theater sometime this Christmas season, I will be hidden away in the shadows watching the film with my family,” Evangeline told Access.
-- Jolie Lash