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The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
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Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue

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

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Empire Star Rating
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014)
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DVD & Blu-ray releases

The Hobbit Interviews: William Kircher On Bifur
'He's a bit of a maniac...'

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Another musical dwarf, clarinet-playing Bifur is kin with Bofur and Bombur, his cousins and fellow woodwind tootlers. In The Hobbit, he’s played by another of the cast’s Kiwi complement, William Kirchner, a US-born veteran whose Hobbit utterances will all be in Khuzdal, thanks to that piece of steel embedding in his noggin. We started with the obvious question: “Ferug trugaz goroj?”

The Hobbit Interviews: William Kircher On Bifur

Tell us about the axe...
Can’t say too much about it – top secret. It became a character thing for me and I loved it. It’s just something a little bit different and as an actor it gives you something to work with and make jokes about.

You don’t speak very much either.
Bifur’s totally unstable and in a fight he just goes insane, especially with the trolls.
I only speak in Dwarvish – it’s because of the axe. But there’s going to be a story; a character of a story towards the end of the story where something happens. The backstory for my character is that once he was a reasonably okay guy but unfortunately he’s turned into a bit of a maniac. He’s a bit mentally challenged – only because of the axe. He’s not thick, he’s just got mental problems. He’s totally unstable and in a fight he just goes insane, especially with the trolls. I’m playing one of the trolls – Good Tom. We’re doing it like Gollum. You wear the mo-cap suit and you actually play the character.

So you fight yourself?
Indeed. We shot Bifur climbing onto a troll’s leg and burying his axe-head into the troll.

The dwarves certainly seem to be a tight unit.
The journey for us as a group of actors parallels the journey of the film. Right from the start we came together. The film is a group forming an ensemble to go on an adventure together to reach the goal of re-founding the kingdom of Erebor, and in the process dealing with Smaug.

What’s Peter like?
He’s a great actor’s director - very relaxed to work with. He has the approach of somebody with a very strong vision, which goes through the whole company. When you arrive at four o’clock in the morning, there’s not feeling of “Oh my God, I don’t want to be” from anybody. They’re doing it because they’re enjoying it.

And how was the singing?
Oh, it’s fantastic. We’re putting out an album.

Were you a fan of Tolkien beforehand?
Of course, yes. Everyone in the ‘80s was reading Tolkien; he invented this whole medieval fantasy genre. Like everybody else, I got into it and read the Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings. To end up being in the movie is incredible.

How much pressure do you feel under to match the book?
Films are always different from books.You have to trust that the imagination of the people making this is in the right place – and it is. Peter considers Tolkien the star of this piece, so we’re not going to be landing aliens or taking any bizarre story arcs. It stays absolutely as faithful as it can, which is why I think people have reacted so strongly. Tolkien fans reacted so strongly to Lord Of The Rings as a franchise because it stayed true; the heart of it was true to the book. The Hobbit is going to be exactly like that.

Read More Exclusive Hobbit Content
Read a new Dwarf interview every day plus exclusive features as we count down to The Hobbit

Interview by Ian Nathan


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