“The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” are some of the best-known books of all time, but we don’t know much about the man who wrote them. Until now. Deco’s chief hobbit-phile, Chris Van Vliet, sat down with the stars of “Tolkien.”
Whether you’ve read them or not, everyone has at least heard of the “Lord of the Rings” books, but it turns out we know more about “The Hobbit” and not so much about J.R.R. Tolkien, the guy who wrote them. A new movie gives us an in-depth look at the man behind the rings. I hopped the pond to London to chat with the cast.
Lily Collins (as Edith Bratt): “Tell me a story.”
Nicholas Hoult (as J.R.R. Tolkien): “It’s a story about journeys.”
“Tolkien” takes us back more than 100 years ago where we meet J.R.R. Tolkien, who became orphaned at the age of 12. When he goes away to school, he finds a new family — or a fellowship, if you will — with a group of artists and writers.
Harry Gilby (as J.R.R. Tolkien): “We should form a club, a brotherhood.”
Ty Tennant (as Christopher Wiseman): “And change the world.”
Nicholas Hoult plays Tolkien, and we follow his journey as he grows up, fights in World War I and becomes the author we all know for penning “The Lord of the Rings.”
Nicholas Hoult: “As a kid I loved them, but I didn’t quite understand the depth of the subtleties and plays with language.”
Lily Collins plays Edith Bratt, whom he falls in love with and becomes his real-life Elven princess.
Nicholas Hoult (as J.R.R. Tolkien): “Since childhood I’ve been fascinated with language. I’ve invented my own.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Nicholas has this line in the film where he tells you, ‘I’m fascinated with language.’ What are you fascinated by?”
Lily Collins: “Ooh, that’s a different one. I’ve been here all day and haven’t been asked that.”
Chris Van Vliet: “All right!”
Lily Collins: “You’re off to a good start. I am fascinated with travel.”
Nicholas Hoult (as J.R.R. Tolkien): “It’s about potent magic. Magic beyond anything anyone has ever felt before.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Do you think that you would watch ‘Lord of the Rings’ differently now that you know so much more?”
Lily Collins: “Definitely. There was so much about his life that I wasn’t aware of, and there are all these little Easter eggs in this movie.”
Nicholas Hoult: “You can sit there and go, ‘Oh, that’s where perhaps this inspiration came from, and maybe that’s the relationship that maybe inspired that dynamic in the film.'”
Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” in 1937, and “The Lord of the Rings” has become of the best-selling novels ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
Chris Van Vliet: “We see in the film that Tolkien’s name gets mispronounced frequently. Has this happened to you?”
Nicholas Hoult: “Yeah. I think the worst mispronunciation of my name was on a flight once where they called me ‘Mr. Hoo-lay.'”
Chris Van Vliet: “What?”
Nicholas Hoult: “Which I really quite liked, in a way, and it gave me this really fun holiday persona.”
Chris Van Vliet: “I think you should be Mr. Hoo-lay from now on.”
Nicholas Hoult: “I like it, right? Mr. Hoo-lay seems like a cool guy.”
“Tolkien” opens in theaters on Friday — and I can relate to Nicholas and that mispronunciation. I’ve been Chris Van Vli-ET, Chris Van Violet, Chris Van Vlay, you name it. That’s been me.
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