Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Interview

RELATED INTERVIEWS
Hobbit Exclusive: Three Directors Talk Peter Jackson
Edgar Wright, Neill Blomkamp and Bryan Singer on PJ
The Hobbit Interviews: James Nesbitt On Bofur
'He's gone along for the craic...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Stephen Hunter On Bombur
'He just hits whatever gets in the road...'
The Hobbit Interviews: John Callen Talks Oin
'He's one of the older ones – the hearing's not what it was'
The Hobbit Interviews: William Kircher On Bifur
'He's a bit of a maniac...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Aidan Turner On Kili
‘Kili and Fili are like Prince William and Harry...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Mark Hadlow On Dori
‘Dori’s not sure about Thorin... or Gandalf, for that matter.’
The Hobbit Interviews: Jed Brophy On Nori
‘If Nori were English, he’d be a cockney...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Adam Brown On Ori
‘He’s baby of the group...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Dean O'Gorman On Fili
'I like to think of him as very cool...'
The Hobbit Interview: Peter Hambleton On Gloin
'Gloin is a very prickly character...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Ken Stott On Balin
'He’s a dwarf who’s seen too much...'
The Hobbit Interviews: Graham McTavish On Dwalin
'I’m the scary biker of the group'
The Hobbit Interviews: Richard Armitage On Thorin
'I tried to find his humour, but he's a king on a mission'
Empire's Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Video Interviews
Jackson! McKellen! Freeman! Turner! Armitage! Nesbitt!
Empire's Hobbit Tolkien Trivia Video Interview
The second of three Hobbit interview mini-supercuts...
Empire's Hobbit 'What's In Your Pocket?' Video Interview
The first of three Hobbit interview mini-supercuts...
Empire's Hobbit 'How Quickly Can You Name The Dwarves?' Video Interview
The third of three Hobbit interview mini-supercuts...
The Hobbit's Baddie Talks!
Manu Bennett on playing Azog The Defiler
The Hobbit Celebration: A Day In The Life Of An Orc
Three of Mordor's finest describe life in the Dark Lord’s employ
More Interviews

RELATED REVIEWS
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Gimli's Guide To Dwarving Made Easy
John Rhys-Davies's tips for The Hobbit's dwarves

submit to reddit

Today is the first day of filming on The Hobbit, an occasion that signifies the departure of Bilbo Baggins and companions on their mighty quest for the Lonely Mountain. Over the months ahead Bilbo Baggins' small but stout band of dwarfish fellows will be beset by vicious wargs, bug-eyed trolls, giant spiders and infuriating beard itch. To mark this momentous occasion, we've designated this 'Hobbit Week', a place where travel tips, story pointers and the nostril sting of pipe-weed abound. Who better to get things started than the original mini-warrior John Rhys-Davies, the thesp who played Gimli in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. We called him up and asked for some advice for his successors in the axe-wielding business...

Gimli's Guide To Dwarving Made Easy

1. Prepare For Pain
"You've got to have a lot of patience to play a dwarf. I spent over four hours in the make-up chair each morning, then had 20 minute touch-ups between shots. It's absolutely energy-sapping. And with The Hobbit there'll be a whole band of poor actors in the clobber. It's a pretty thankless and unrewarding task. I know the devils of temptation and I avoid them very carefully. The trick is not to drink."

2. Keep It Classical
"When you're sitting in the make-up chair, your only input is auditory. And if you have to listen to four hours of contemporary music, you go insane. I used to snarl, "Get that fucking crap off!" The only thing I could take was classical music - Bach, Vivaldi, the great Venetians. In time the other actors bowed to my wishes. It probably upset everyone else in the make-up room but I had my eyes shut, so I didn't notice."

3. Hit The Gym
"Usually Gimli's costume weighed between 60 to 80 pounds. My favourite anecdote is about this one day where we were shooting halfway up a mountain. There was a girl carrying my helmet, somebody else carrying my heavy boots, another person with the helmet and two men behind us struggling with a hamper containing the top armour, chain mail, belts and all that. And then the armourer with the five axes I'd be carrying. They put it all on me and Peter said, "Right, I want you to run up that slope." I could barely move!"

Gimli's Guide To Dwarving Made Easy

4. Axin' Ain't Easy
"I did a lot of weapon training and it was almost entirely useless! The great truth is, the first time I swung an axe on the set, I toppled over, straight into the mud. Because I had to be on my knees so that I'd look shorter than Viggo - which I'm not - and you can't fight on your knees. The full-size axe was also enormous, with a giant arc. So it was often better to have my double do the fighting. I did enjoy the odd scrap, though. The stuntmen used to complain, "Oh God, it's John again." I'd bellow, "Come on you, wusses! Stand up and take your punishment!"

5. Deny All Tossings
"Nobody, but nobody, tosses a dwarf! This is not something I am meant to talk about. It doesn't happen. It never happened. And anyone who says it did is a liar and will have to answer to my axe!"

The Hobbit is in production. Part 1 is due out in 2012.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Colin Firth And Taron Egerton Talk Kingsman: The Secret Service
Plus Samuel L. Jackson on bad-guy duties

A Brief History Of The Ring
Everything you need to know about the J-horror reboot

The X-Men TV Series: 10 Possible Plotlines
Mutants on a budget? We suggest some ideas for Fox’s new franchise extension

10 Kid-Friendly Marvel Comics That Could Be The Next Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios have a lot to play with elsewhere in the Marvelverse

20 Sitcom Spin-Offs That Were Doomed To Fail
From Joey to Ally and back again…

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)