A long-time Peter Jackson cohort, Mark Hadlow has been a member of the great man’s unofficial Kiwi company since Meet The Feebles, subsequently appearing as one of Carl Denham's (Jack Black) actors in King Kong, and now taking a spot in Thorin’s crew as a dwarf on a mission. He’s the father figure of a trio of pint-sized warriors and carries an agenda or two of his own, as the Kiwi actor explained when Empire caught up with him.
Tell us about Dori...
He’s the patriarch of the family, of Dori, Nori and Ori. Dori has mothered Ori all his life. Nori left home because he hated being mothered and has only come back home because he heard of the spoils… Basically, I’m very protective of my brothers and there’s a little suspicion about who is benefitting from this so-called quest? I’m not sure about Thorin Oakenshield, not at all. Gandalf is another one... If you know about wizards, there’s a bit of suspicion. But we all go to see what we can get out of it.
Does Dori get his chance to shine?
One of the clever things that Peter has done is bring this group of blokes together who are very aware of what the team means.
The Hobbit is a lot funnier than the Lord of the Rings in many ways.
|“We’re Peter Jackson’s Inglourious Basterds. We don’t need Brad Pitt - we’ve got Jimmy Nesbitt.”|
The Lord of the Rings is very much darker, it was very fearful. I think of The Hobbit as more like a boy’s own film, like those annuals from the 1930s and 1940s. Then you throw in Jimmy Nesbitt, Martin Freeman, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott... The world is the same, but it’s a different genre to The Lord Of The Rings. It’s important that Middle-earth has the same textures as the original. That’s one of the great things: you have that continuity and faith. Faith in Peter’s direction and the people underneath him.
How long ago did you get the part?
It was October or November 2011, at about the same time as Jed (Brophy – Nori)and I remember when the call came, and it was pretty cool. No, not pretty cool, it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I met Jed at the airport, we knew before we said anything, and we hugged each other. It was just fantastic.
Did you ever think The Hobbit wouldn’t happen?
Given that there is an absolutely huge fanbase out there who are frothing for it to come out, I didn’t see any way that it couldn’t happen.
The dwarves are a tight unit.
We all went to dwarf school and worked with a movement specialist who has been instrumental in giving us a uniform way to move. Equally with our stunt guys and dwarf doubles. It’s a big unit.
Is it a challenge to act within a group?
We are all pretty experienced actors so we understand the perspective of the group – and a team acting job. Egos don’t come into it. There aren’t really any boundaries.
Do you think small?
No way, we’re Peter Jackson’s Inglourious Basterds – and we don’t need Brad Pitt. We’ve got Jimmy Nesbitt...