A Kiwi actor has defended Sir Peter Jackson against claims by a Lord of the Rings‘ star of sloppiness and too many special effects being used.
Star Viggo Mortensen has called the second and third instalments in the franchise “a mess”.
In an interview with the Telegraph, the actor described the process of making the films as sloppy, and suggests if the first movie wasn’t such a success, the final two “would have been straight to video”.
However, Kiwi actor Bruce Hopkins, who played Gamling in the last two movies, said Mortensen’s comments were not a slight against the director.
Hopkins agreed with Mortensen’s comments, and called the film’s production “an organised chaos”, but said the madness of the filming showed how powerful Jackson’s vision was.
“It was like an organised chaos … I’m sure [Jackson] would acknowledge that. It was the 2000 people that went on the journey with him as production, crew and cast; they made something out of nothing.”
Hopkins worked alongside Mortensen and other lead cast members, and said he was sure they loved being a part of the massive filming.
“It was long and it was hard.
“I know from the time I spent in Viggo and in Peter’s company that Viggo would have nothing but respect for Peter Jackson, and that would go both ways.”
Mortensen picked The Fellowship of the Ring as the film that turned out the best of the three, because it was shot in one go.
He said nobody was certain of the trilogy’s success until the first film was previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.
“They didn’t have an inkling until they showed 20 minutes in Cannes, in May of 2001. They were in a lot of trouble, and Peter [Jackson] had spent a lot. Officially, he could say that he was finished in December 2000 – he’d shot all three films in the trilogy – but really the second and third ones were a mess. It was very sloppy -it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year.”
“But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video.”
Mortensen also went on to describe Jackson’s use of special effects in his films as overdone, removing the subtly of the stories.
Hopkins agreed that emotional depth was sometimes lost to special effects at times, but said that was a call made by the studio in Hollywood, rather than Jackson.
“What’s going to draw in a bigger crowd? An intimate little scene between Gandalf and Frodo or a battle?” he said.
by Sophie Ryan