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The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
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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: 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 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
More Interviews

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

The Hobbit Interview: Peter Hambleton On Gloin
'Gloin is a very prickly character...'

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Crusty old Gloin, the craggy but dependable dwarf and dad of Gimli, is played by Wellington resident Peter Hambleton in The Hobbit. Deep down he's a big cuddly teddy bear and loyal family man, the actor tells Empire, not wholly convincingly. Expect this warrior dwarf to get out of bed/cave/ground on the wrong side more or less every day. Which is bad news for those goblins.

The Hobbit Interview: Peter Hambleton On Gloin

Tell us about Gloin...
There is obviously a connection for The Lord Of The Rings fans. The character’s design – hair, beard, the whole look – does a lot of that, but I also have to inhabit some Gimli-ness. I worked my way through the extended version of The Lord Of The Rings taking notes, but without trying to do carbon copy stuff. What was really lovely was that John Rhys-Davies came to visit, and we got introduced. It was a great moment. I was saying, “Hello, son,” and he was saying, “Hello, dad” – a charming, lovely guy. Gloin, meanwhile, is a very prickly character.

And quick to temper?
He has a fiery temper, but we see a real tenderness and love towards his family. He gets a lovely moment later on when we see that he carries an image of his wife and son, and misses them terribly.

You’re playing him with a Scottish accent?
"Dwarves are very much of the earth and feel connected to the earth."
It’s a fusion of things. We’re all dwarves and a lot of us are related to Thorin, so we needed to sound like we were of the same tribe – and Scottish enough. The character is written Scottish, but not specific to a region. It’s not Glasgow or Edinburgh: it’s Middle-earth.

So how was it coming up with the whole look?
We did a whole range of training and fittings, so we were able to communicate our thoughts about the characters. We have some ownership of the characters, as well as the huge team that creates, designs and prosthetics, hair and everything like that. It’s been amazing, you don’t just step on board and get cloaked in something that’s ready-made, you feel like part of the creative process.

Does that help with becoming dwarf-like?
Definitely. The body shape and the weight of what you’re wearing grounds you. We’ve discussed how the dwarves feel connected to the earth with our movement coach. Really preparing and cooking the film is one of the wonderful things about a project of this scale, and these people are real champions at it.

But it has a singular vision in charge, hasn’t it?
I live here in Wellington where it’s all been happening on my doorstep, [but] I’ve had very little involvement in his previous films – a little post-production voice stuff on The Lord Of The Rings – so I’ve only just been introduced to this culture over the last six months. There’s a vast team of astonishing people, and there is one person at the centre who must keep a mind-boggling amount of stuff in his head. Someone described Peter as being like a fish in water on set. He’s in his element.

It must be hard to imagine what Guillermo del Toro may have made of it?
I’ve seen some of his films and he’s a wonderful talent. The film business has so many twists and turns that it’s a miracle any film gets made. We’re all be looking at Pacific Rim to see what Guillermo comes up with, but as Peter (Jackson) commented in The Hobbit video blog, those first few weeks were a homecoming for a lot of this team.

Peter Jackson said the dwarves were the reason he directed The Hobbit.
I hope we can do justice to that, if that’s the case. In the story there’s this desperate group of very crusty individuals bought together, a motley bunch of individuals – the ‘little basterds’, that’s what he calls us.

How is the singing?
It was actually great as a bonding thing. Some of us – and I count myself as no singer – can hold a tune.

And the drinking?
Dwarves have been known to knock back a glass or two, thank you.

As a story, The Hobbit is more ambiguous than The Lord Of The Rings, isn’t it? We should root for the dwarves and Bilbo but essentially they want to get their gold back. It’s not quite such a noble quest.
The idea that vast wealth of any kind can poison you is in the script, but this isn’t a bank job, it’s about regaining our birthright and our homeland.

Did you get to Bombur’s barbecue?
I missed it! I went to Auckland for the Bob Dylan concert. Apparently Stephen Hunter does a fantastic barbecue lamb.

Do you think small?
Dwarves are very much of the earth and feel connected to the earth; considering gravity their weight is low, but they’re not small.

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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Director Paul King On Paddington, The BBFC And The Possibilty Of A Sequel
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Box sets, hardware, clothing, books and stocking fillers to buy

Empire's Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Covers
Five armies. Five covers. The eagles, dwarves, elves, men and orcs prepare for battle in our Peter Jackon guest-edited issue

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'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

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