Here’s most of p. 2

[ETA: has posted a partial translation of this article from L’Ecran fantastique, here [News of 24 November], by lexie171170, with better sentences than these and not so many weird moments. Her translations covers all of this but the last question. I will update when she adds to it. I’m not correcting this as incentive for you to read that, and I am relieved I didn’t misunderstand anything important. Please check Lexie’s translation out. I’m leaving this post here in case anyone wants to continue commenting.]

[I’ve been told now that two other translations are under way, and since my French isn’t that great, I’m going to cede the field to people who can really translate it. Here’s the rest of what I finished.]

Given that your character also has a kingdom to reconquer, could one say that Thorin is a sort of “Aragon of the dwarf people” in The Hobbit?

There is actually this similarity between the two characters, [but?] Thorin is a great deal harder than Aragorn. He is bad-tempered and [cut off] of a sullen humor. I found this characteristic interesting and at the beginning, I had a little bit of a bad time to establish  hat [cut off]. I would say that this surly and aggressive side is one of the common points of dwarf warriors, but that Thorin, more than that, cannot stand the idea that someone has taken away his kingdom [cut off] also violent. He had equal bad time seeing the loss of his rank in the society of the dwarfs, by the way very privileged status of [cut off] of the royal family and that of the knight errant. He is ashamed of his [cut off]… He believes that if he confides anything he holds to anyone he has to [cut off] that it will be taken away. It is for that reason he refuses to divulge the details of quest to the authors, and never shows them the course of the journey that he has traced on his map. At the beginning, Thorin has [cut off] a slightly villainous comportment.

Was it easy to act while wearing all of the many prostheses of your costume[cut off], false ears, and how did you understand correctly your [cut off] and the notes of the director?

Basically, it was the main problem that the makeup posed for me. What is interesting is that the prostheses, once they are glued to my skin, bend with it, and they don’t bother me. In revenge, the ears, at the beginning, prevented me from understanding my own voice correctly, and that bothered me a lot, because I changed it a lot in order to play Thorin. I chose a much harsher tone, which corresponded well to the quality of the character, and that allowed him at the same time to make himself understood in a bass voice, and also in this way to carry very far in speaking very loudly.  The difficulty with these ears, it’s that one feels like one is wearing a helmet that isolates one from the surroundings. In experimenting with different ways of placing the ears and their support, we found a way to align the opening of the prostheses with the auditory canal of my real ears. I could get a sense of what my voice was giving, and understand as well the director’s directions. Apart from that, as I sweat a lot under the prostheses, I regularly felt a collection of sweat streaming collecting behind my real ears. But apart from these inconveniences, the makeup produced a phenomenal effect on me when I saw myself in the backstage mirror every morning. I became the character.

How much time was necessary to get made up as Thorin?

At the beginning of the shoot, it took around three and a half hours, but in as they got in the habit of doing it every day, Tommy Lane and Jennifer Stanfield, my makeup people, found ways to speed up the procedure and reduced it to two hours. They did a remarkable job. All the details were absolutely identical every day.

Did Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson tell you particular things about your character during the rehearsals and the shooting and what ideas did you suggest to them in return around your portrayal of Thorin?

We all went through a phase of discovering the character when the production of the film began. Philippa, Fran, and Peter had a very exact idea of the way they wanted Thorin to carry himself, and this vision appeared sensational to me, because it was so clear, perfectly justified, and would allow the character to evolve for the entire length of the three films. The main idea is that Thorin is a hardened warrior who is going to return little by little to true life by fulfilling his destiny. I also remember asking them why they had chosen a guy of forty years to play this role, and maybe it would be more appropriate to chose an older actor. They responded that they had need of a player capable of showing plenty of energy in the combat scenes and expressing physically all the rage that Thorin lets out order to retake his kingdom. In working on all of that, we defined together his way of speaking, his comportment, and his choices in the story. It was a cooperation in a very democratic process in the course of which Philippa, Fran and Peter listened attentively to my ideas, just as much as their proposals inspired me enormously. That allowed me to let go completely when I was acting, and to follow the director’s instructions with complete trust. I knew that Peter Jackson was reflected in the most minimal aspects of the scene and to the reactions of the characters. All of his instructions were helpful.

What are Thorin’s favorite weapons and his particular talents when he fights?

Thorin is totally old school in the area of combat! He carries around a great axe with himself. So, when he finds the elfin sword Orcrist in the cavern of the trolls, this magical object that lights up when the creatures approach becomes his main weapon for the entire rest of the film. Thorin is a fine swordsman, for as a prince destined to become king, he pursued a training in the use of the sword from a very young age. He fights so well that he could clear a path in a throng of orcs, and decimates them in order to traverse the battlefield through and through! In the appendices of The Return of the King, Tolkien recounts that Thorin, who had been 53 at that time, which is young for a dwarf, took his glorious army of dwarves out to the Battle of D’Azanulbiar. When his hsield was destroyed, he helped himself with a branch of oak in order to protect himself. That’s how he was named Thorin Oakenshield [Shield of Oak]. Aftewards, Thorin kept this piece of wood in the shape of a shield and shaped it and it became a mark of fierceness and of honor.

Under the direction of an actor

Did you have any say in the appearance of your makeup, your costume and accessories?

Yes, at every stage of their development. We did several series of tests in order to determine the appearance  of the character, the length of his beard, the color of his hair, his hairstyle, etc. We were all convinced that Thorin’s clothes had to be conceived for the journey and combat, and not to represent his rank of prince by too sophisticated ornamentation. I wanted Thorin to have a sober and effective bive, like the posture of Nordic warriors. We tried to bring to him a practical and realistic posture, without giving him with elements that were too elaborate, which did not correspond to the quality of the character.

~ by Servetus on November 24, 2012.

10 Responses to “Here’s most of p. 2”

  1. I appreciate the effort! I had my second oldest on the French one as she’s fluent in that and the oldest didn’t want to do more than one. But both are so involved with visiting friends this weekend they were a little perturbed at me for asking for a quick turnaround, so I’m just glad others are doing something! Thanks again.


    • I’d continue just for the fun of it, b/c I enjoy it, but it’s bad to put inaccurate translations into the world, and to make this one good it would take me a lot more time. You get the basic idea. In the rest of the interview, he talks about the whole scale issue with acting, the physicality of the dwarves, their comraderie, his favorite scenes, and acting in this role over such a long time.


      • Yes, I get the idea from this. It’s very helpful to my understanding, so I’m thankful.


        • i couldn’t make myself stop. I may take some of this down. The issue was that I’d read a sentence and couldn’t remember what was in it, so in order to really read it I had to translate it anyway …


  2. He loves the fighting, it would seem. Boys! 🙂


    • yeah, and I think he always has 🙂


      • What was it that got quoted? Shake me harder? : D

        I love the action part, and it will be fun to see his maneuvers as Thorin. We will know he is all in when we see him roar. And that makes it all the more powerful.

        Like that 3-second clip in today’s vlog from PJ. I kept rewinding to watch his movement and then ‘Elves.’ Just rolls out of him with such energy and broadsides you.


        • I thought his remarks about his voice were interesting. It will be interesting to think about whether I believe he succeeded in making it harder (as opposed to just louder).


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