April 2, 2001

The Price of Film
Tor Thorsen

Q: How'd you get involved with [Lord of the Rings]?

KS: Actually, I got involved with it after [Rings director] Peter Jackson saw a rough cut of Price of Milk. He and Harry are good friends, and it just happened to be in his face when he was casting for the role of [heroic warrior prince] Eomer, and he offered to me, because Danielle wasn't available.

DC: Obviously I would've been his first choice for Eomer.

Q: Well, you guys were both on Xena together.

KU: Yes.

Q: So were you on the Lord of the Rings set as long as everybody else? It was an 11-month shoot. [Catches an annoyed look from Harry]. Don't worry, I promise to get off this soon.

HS: [Sarcastically] Don't worry about it, we all know what we're really doing publicity for.

KU: Well, Harry's in Lord of the Rings.

Q: [Laughs]

KU: He is! He really is.

HS: I am, actually.

KU: He plays Isildur [the mythical king who stole the titular ring of power from the evil lord Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkien's saga].

HS: I've got three lines, and I kill a lot of things.

KU: Pete Jackson was trying to find the most obnoxious, pugnacious person to play is Islidur and he came up with Harry!

HS: Peter said, "Who's the least trustworthy, who's the most likely to betray his people — Harry!" So I'm this good guy who turns bad, but I only have about 10 seconds of screen time. So I have to go from good to bad in 10 seconds.

Q: It must have been crazy going from a shoestring production like Price of Milk to a monster, studio-funded, $270 million production like Lord of the Rings?

HS: I loved it, I loved it. I mean one minute I'm directing, working like mad, the next it's like, "Can I get you another smoked salmon, Mr. Sinclair?" I'm sitting back, and there's like 15 people tying the little leather thongs on my costume — I loved it.

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