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chocco
14-02-04, 16:18
LOTR star Billy Boyd answers your questions

Here are your questions answered by Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd.

Jordan Stewart, Birmingham: "Was Pippin the only character you auditioned for and which other character would you have liked to play instead?"

BB: "When I first went up I read for Merry and Pippin, from the same scene. By the time I met Pete (Jackson) I was completely Pippin."
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Rob, Essex (on behalf of a few of the regulars on the Orange LOTR discussion board): "Do you like Midge Ure? It's just that we think you sound like him when you sing.

BB: "It must be the Glasgow thing. I do like Midge Ure. I grew up when Ultravox were big. I also admire what he did for Band Aid - you forget it started as a 50/50 thing with him and Bob Geldof. I wouldn't mind sounding like Midge Ure!"

David, Sheffield: "What was the point when you realised the magnitude of what you had created together in LOTR?

BB: "That would've been at the Cannes Film Festival (2001). They showed 20 minutes of cut footage, including special effects. The buzz at Cannes was pretty special. The journos there gave it a standing ovation which is unheard of."
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Sian and Bailey, nr Chichester: "Who were your best friends on set? And who in particular was the joker?"

BB: Dom (Monaghan - Sam), Elijah (Wood - Frodo) and Orlando (Bloom - Legolas) because we were the young guys hanging out. The joker was Dom. He's one of the funniest guys I've ever met. He's made me laugh so much I've had to leave the room."

Dante, nr Bath: "Three years filming is a long time. Were any of you a little bit bored at any time or was it a buzz every day?"

BB: "We were never bored - exhausted sometimes, dying for a day off! Because it took 2.5 hours each morning to become a Hobbit it meant I was up at 4:30am for filming at 8am, six days a week for months. However, because it was LOTR people just had to say 'remember what we're making here' and that would pick everyone back up."

Tim, Broadstairs: "When you were out filming did you listen to any Scottish music like Capercaillie to stop being homesick?"

BB: I played the Proclaimers a lot. Especially Cap In Hand, which is a song about Scotland getting back its own power and why should we be ruled by another country. I used to turn it up loud when I was next to Orlando! He used to retaliate...(laughs)."

Jimmy, Burnley: "If you could design the Pippin action figure, what features would you give it?"

BB: "Mmmm, this is an exciting question! I'd like to make it a toy that remembers what's in your house and if you brought in any new things it would be be inquisitive about them and be drawn in. So if you brought in a new DVD it would wander over and start unwrapping it! Maybe if you brought in mushrooms it would eat them all, smoke your pipe, that sort of thing."

Phil, Kent: "What can you tell us about the fellowship tattoo? Does Ian McKellen have one too? Are they permanent?"

"Yes, it's a permanent tattoo and Ian McKellen (Gandalf) does have one. The nine in the Fellowship got one, except for John Rhys-Davies (Gimli). He actually sent his scale double to get his tattoo! We've all got the number nine tattooed in Elvish. Peter Jackson has the number 10. Mine's on my ankle because feet are such a big part of being a Hobbit. However I got it done when we still had a week of filming to do and having Hobbit feet glued onto what is an open sore was very painful."

Colin, Belfast: "Billy, what props did you get to take with you when LOTR was finished and what did you want to take but were not allowed?"

BB: I've got Pippin's scarf, the sword he was given in Gondor that he killed an Orc with and the last clapper board from my final scene - which was when he killed the Orc and saved Gandalf. I've also got Hobbit feet and Hobbit ears. I would have liked to have taken Minis Tirith and put it outside Glasgow like a castle!"

Fatty, Hobbiton: "Hi Billy. Tell us one thing we don't know about the filming of the trilogy. Also, do you have any fears about being typecast after the success of the films?

BB: "On the first question - sheer cheek! You need to ask a few more probing questions than just coming out with that (laughs)! I think all actors worry about being typecast, it's just a matter of making the right choices over roles. I play a very different character in Master and Commander."

Gemma, Staffordshire: "If Peter Jackson makes a film of The Hobbit, who would you like to see play the role off Bilbo?"

BB: "That's a difficult one. It's a shame that Ian Holm couldn't do it. Who's up to Ian? I'd need to think longer about that."

Lisa Davies, Birmingham: "Hi Billy. When you heard there was going to be a film made of LOTR did you know straight away that you had to audition for this film?"

BB: "I very seldom go after a part - what will be, will be. I just got a phone call and had to audition for something that big. But there were 10,000 others going up for Pippin so I didn't think there was any chance."

Rob, Essex: "What was your favourite book in your youth and which character would you have liked to play from it?"

BB: "My favourite book in my real youth was The Hobbit, it was the first book that all my friends were into. Catcher in the Rye I loved when I was older - so Bilbo and Holden Caulfield, two very different characters."

Hannah, Bournemouth: "If you could have played another character from LOTR, who would it be?"

BB: "I'd like to be Arwen as she gets to lie down quite a bit and wear great dresses. Gimli's quite cool too - and he gets great axes. Legolas is quite cool too, getting to kill Mumakils. But I'd rather be a Hobbit than anything else."

Caroline Andrews, Liverpool: "Which living person do you most admire and why?"

BB: "Nelson Mandela. People like that are in a situation where they can see a bigger picture than their own life, which is pretty incredible. They almost give up their life to make the world a better place."

Story filed: 15:06 Saturday 14th February 2004

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