Former Hobbits Discuss Stuart Townsend Leaving, Star Wars Backlash, and this cordey first Deadpool.
20 years after the release of Fellowship of the Ring brought us one of the greatest cinema doubles of all time, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took – AKA Merry and Pippin – AKA Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd – are back for a very special podcast: The Friendship Onion.
“It’s kind of Billy and I had the usual conversations that we have, and we realized that if we want to do it every day, we might as well start getting paid for it,” Dominic told TooFab. “Everyone has a podcast! “
“It’s totally my fault it took so long,” Billy interjected. “Dom said to me years ago, ‘Why don’t we do a podcast?’ and I didn’t even really know what a podcast was. “
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If you scoured Apple Podcast reviews for The Friendship Onion, you’d be hard pressed to find one of the very few four-star reviews, buried under the thousands of perfect five-stars.
The boys’ jokes, camaraderie, chemistry, and storytelling of the boys are praised by almost everyone, and it comes as little surprise to learn that the couple are as strong a friend in real life as they were in Earth. middle.
“Here’s the thing, Dom and I didn’t know each other before The Lord of the Rings… we only know each other with The Lord of the Rings in our lives,” Billy said, admitting that as a result, “a little” of the content. LOTR appears during their discussions.
Members of the Fellowship, whose bond during the filming was something legendary, will most likely be future guests (in fact, Elijah Wood has already passed by).
Two decades later, the film series has not aged a bit. The last part “Return Of The King”, still jointly holds the record (with “Ben Hur” and “Titanic”) for the greatest number of Oscars at 11; it was only the second sequel to win the Best Picture award (along with “The Godfather: Part II”) and was the first fantasy film to win the same award.
“I think a lot of that is, where he’s from, the writer – basically that was his whole life,” Billy mused. “It’s a beautifully structured storytelling.”
“And on top of that, having a filmmaker like Pete Jackson, who’s passionate about making the best Lord of the Rings he can do, and part of that was getting people started who wanted to be in, who didn’t was not using it was a way to get to something else, and so everything there was genuine. There was nothing that was invented or anything done for any reason other than trying to do the best possible story, you know, so I think that’s the reason he’s hanging around. “
All the best lines in the series – “Where are we going?” “Does it come in pints ?!” “What about the second breakfast?” – it also happens to belong to the pair; or more accurately, as Dominic playfully / reluctantly points out, to Billy.
“It’s not that these are big lines,” Billy boasts, “That’s how they say them.”
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While it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone playing Aragorn other than Viggo Mortensen, there was a time when Irish actor Stuart Townsend had the role; as the story goes, director Peter Jackson decided after two good months of training and rehearsal that he wanted someone older than the 29-year-old, and replaced him with the American d Danish origin then 42 years old.
“Yeah, we hung out with Stuart for probably six, seven weeks, maybe eight weeks before he left the project,” Dominic recalls, adding that it could be a more “sensitive” topic. for Stuart himself to better fill in the blanks.
“But I think at the end of the day the filmmakers, you know, between Pete Jackson, the producers, and the studio, they all got together and said what we thought about our cast, and when they came to a point where they had to commit to some characters, they had, you know, doubts about Stu and he quit the project, and less than a week later, Viggo showed up. “
“I think it was mostly about the age, you know,” Billy added. “I think they thought the character should be older.”
There are, of course, other stories set in Middle-earth, some already made, some in the process of being, and others, as Galadriel would say, that have yet to come true.
The Hobbit series, for example, the two men love (Billy even wrote a song for her).
Meanwhile, for the elusive Silmarillion, Dominic maintains that the appetite is still there, even though “I’m not sure Pete Jackson would return to Middle-earth at this point in his life, so you might need someone. ‘one to compliment his work, while having their own fingerprint.
If ever someone Is to make The Silmarillion, it will only be when “Billy and I are old men, and then we can both play Gandalf.”
“Maybe we can direct him?” suggests Billy, with his buddy’s agreement. They both agree that they could bring fun to it, which, admittedly, is lacking.
As for the upcoming $ 250 million Amazon LOTR series – which takes place thousands of years before the events of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” – the boys know absolutely nothing.
TooFab / Disney +
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If someone has approached them to make a funny appearance, they are silent – even from each other – although they both agree that they would need “unbelievable amounts” to do so.
“No one has approached me – maybe they approached Billy and he’s keeping it a secret – but no one has approached me,” Dominic said. (sneaky nudge from Billy)
“But I can’t wait to see the show and I wish them the best of luck, I hope it goes well,” Dominic added. “It brings a lot of work to the island of New Zealand, a country we both love.”
After The Lord of the Rings, Dominic would go on to star in an even bigger (biggest?) Movie franchise, playing Beaumont Kin in “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker”; a franchise so great that she could not help but give in partially under the weight of impossible expectations.
“You know, when you’re dealing with a film series that has a massive fan base – a very enthusiastic and involved fan base – you’re going to have a bunch of people who don’t like it,” Dominic said, recalling part of the negativity. , especially from the toxic corner.
“But, you know, when you get towards the end of the Poe and Rey and Finn stories, and to some extent Chewy and R2 and C3PO, you can’t please everyone. JJ did his best, he is a huge Star Wars fan. “
“I had a great time doing it. It’s a movie, you know what I mean? It’s a movie at the end of the day, and you know people shouldn’t feel so personally offended by that. It’s a movie, everyone took a huge swing, they tried their best – get on with it. Loved it. “
Billy totally agrees … despite the fact that he fell in love with the “popcorn thing” for the fifth time at the premiere.
“Dom made me a date for the vernissage, so I loved that too – because I have to go to a big party,” he smiled.
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Another Dom’s movie that received a lot of criticism – perhaps a little more and rightly so – was “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, largely because of its non-canonical take on Deadpool… which Ryan Reynolds would decide over. later rectify, and then some.
Away from the reception Dominic said he had a fantastic time doing it: “Yes, he was a great man,” he exclaimed. “I mean, I’m a huge fan of Hugh Jackman. I think he’s fantastic and a lovely person. Ryan and I spent a lot of time together, he’s awesome too.”
Reynolds’ relentless passion for the character is what ultimately led to his well-deserved and much-loved revival. In retrospect, it may seem odd that he was involved in such a quirky screen debut; but as Dominic pointed out, he didn’t really have any control back then.
“I don’t think Ryan was super happy with the way they presented Deadpool to an audience, but he had already started to think about how they might do it in the future,” he recalls.
“In the Deadpool movies, Ryan Reynolds is a producer, so at this point they have to listen to him. But in the Wolverine movie, Ryan Reynolds is just an actor. So he reads a script and decides if he wants to. or not do it, he has no control over what happens next. “
“So I think he wanted to play Deadpool, he didn’t want anyone else to play Deadpool, and from there he tried to get some control back. But I mean, Hugh Jackman has a bit of a say in how Wolverine looks in this movie, but I definitely didn’t do that with my character, neither Will.I.Am, nor Ryan, you know… you’re just kind of a guns for hire, really. “
And as for the $ 64 million question: Will Billy honor The Friendship Onion with his beautiful sung voice?
“Well, there will be singing. Oh, it will be music,” he says. “Me and Dom are going to write music for The Friendship Onion, I’m absolutely sure.”
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