John Rhys-Davies is the name most associated with Gimli. Two-time stuntman Brett Beattie deserves so much credit.
Polygon continued their year-long celebration of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy with a true gift for fans: the very first in-depth interview with Gimli stuntman Brett Beattie. While John Rhys-Davies played Gimli and was credited in the film as a result, Beattie was more than just an average stuntman and said he spent at least 189 days playing Gimli in the trilogy. Beattie was originally hired to do stunts on horseback, but his role became a replacement actor for Rhys-Davies because his height of 4’10 “looked more like a dwarf. Rhys-Davies also had a reaction. allergic to the facial prostheses needed to turn him into Gimli, which only made production more reliant on Beattie.
“I’m aware that a lot of people, even die-hard ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans, assume that a lot of the shots are some kind of awkward camera angle or shrinking CGI John Rhys-Davies,” Beattie told Gameserver. . . “I don’t want to pop anyone’s bubbles, but I can only think of a few shots where CGI was used to shrink Rhys-Davies.”
Doing the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy took its toll on Beattie, who recently underwent his third knee reconstruction surgery because he blew both knees during filming. The stuntman said: “The surgeon was asking me how I got these injuries, and I was like, ‘Well, I was fighting Uruk-hai at Helm’s Deep. “”
Polygon reported other injuries to Beattie, including “a sinking canoe, dodging a horse’s hooves and taking an ax over its head.” In a scene where Beattie had to throw an ax, he accidentally cut his forehead.
“Because I was wearing a prosthetic mask, the blood couldn’t come out,” Beattie said. “So the blood pooled and pooled under the mask until, eventually, a bag under the eyes that was stuck on broke and the blood started to squirt. It looked a lot worse than it actually was.
According to Polygon: “The double scale playing hobbits had full rubber masks that they could just put on and take off, and there was an unwritten rule that they could not be in the masks for more than an hour at a time. both on the shelf. Beattie, meanwhile, had over 2 kilograms of silicone and foam rubber stuck to his face for at least 12 hours a day, sometimes more.
“A lot of guys couldn’t do it,” Beattie said of wearing Gimli prosthetics. “I actually saw a guy asking to put it on and he was getting claustrophobic and had to take it off. “
Considering all the hard work it took to play Gimli, even as a replacement, Beattie asked for screen credit, which the producers reportedly told her could happen via the credits. “Waterfall, ladder and double photo of Gimli”. Shortly thereafter, he was informed that he would not be getting credit due to “movie politics” and “concerns about preserving the illusion that is Gimli”. Beattie is only listed in the credits as a stuntman.
Visit the Polygon website to learn more about the Beattie interview.