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Elmundo Online Interview

1. How was it like to work on a Spanish production? Btw, you did deserve the Oscar for your work in the Trilogy (that movie marks a line before and after it in the cinema history)

Hi. It's marvelous to work on a Spanish production; working with Alex has been great. I want to work with him again and again!

2. Hi Elijah! You are a great actor and 'Oxford Murders' is a movie that looks good so far because it's related to mystery… But I am a fearful person and I don't want to see too much blood or be frightened. Do you recommend me to see it?

There's not too much blood on the movie, you shouldn't be afraid. I think you should go to see it…

3. Peter Jackson, Alex de la Iglesia. When are you going to make a movie with a thin and without-beard director??

Ja, ja, ja! Probably next movie would have a without-beard director. Although I would love to work with Guillermo del Toro; besides, he's lost a lot of weight…

4. And to ask you if you'd wish to work with more Spanish directors?

Yeah. I'd love to work with more Spanish directors. It's always interesting to work with directors from countries different from my own, a great opportunity.

5. I really like the roles you are picking up lately. What do you think before choosing a project? Are you more careful of what you pick after Lord of the Rings?

Thank you. I think in a lot of things from the script to the director or the actors that are already in the movie. The script is probably the most important thing for me to love a project.

6. Who had been the most exigent director you've worked for? I've heard Alex is implacable while filming!

Alex has not been terribly exigent. He's very funny. Working with him had been very funny. One of the most complexes had been Ang Lee, though it was fantastic to work with him.

7. Hi Elijah! What do you think of Spain? You look like a really shy guy. Is it true? What do you do to win the shyness when you have to work? Congratulations for having the guts to work on a Spanish movie, I can't wait to see it. I hope to see you more in Spain.

Hi! It's my second time in Spain and I love it. I wish I could expend more time here. I love Spanish food and the people. And I'm not shy! I don't think I am a shy person at all. I can be quiet, depending on the situation, but I'm not shy.

8. Hi Elijah. In my opinion, you are one of the very few Hollywood actors that had known how to deal with fame, since you were a kid. Which one is your secret?

Hey! Thank you! I don't have any secret. I've been grown up by a great mother and I suppose that has a lot to do with everything. My mom got me a very strong family life completely apart from the fame.

9. Hi Elijah. Is filming hard, being away from family and friends for weeks on end? Have you ever been in Madrid before? I will see your movie in original version tomorrow. Lots of kisses.

Lots of kisses for you too! It can be difficult to be away from your family and your friends, but when I'm immersed on work –working is my whole world. I really enjoy traveling and working in different countries, having the opportunity of living and working in different parts of the world. It's one of the privileges of being an actor.

10. People don't know that you were an actor with more than 30 movies already before Lord of the Rings. Does it bother you that your other work didn't have the same transcendent? You have a lot of good works, a lot of nominations but the awards had gone to a broken-bag! (*note from the translator* *gone to a broken-bag: never come, you never got them*)

No, I don't mind. I was very young on those works before Lord of the Rings and after them; I've done a lot of work.

11. Hi! What does it feel like to work with the most-gorgeous Leonor Watling?, besides of her being a great professional. I hope everything goes great for you from now on.

It was marvelous to work with Leonor. She's an incredibly pretty woman and a greatly talented actress. We had a lot of fun working together.

12. Have you seen "The Orphan"? Which one is your favourite movie?

I've seen "The Orphan" and I really liked it. I am not so on in Spanish filming as I'd like to, and there are a lot of movies I'd have to see. I admire Pedro Almodovar. I don't have any favourite move.

13. Hi Elijah! I suppose that you'd hear this a lot of times before, but you have something very special, you ARE special. And you even manage that we DON'T think in Frodo when we see you in other movies. This is not a question, obviously. I just wanted to tell you, you are a crack! (*note from the translator**crack: Spanish way to say you are the best*)

Thank you very, very much.

14. I'd like to know your opinion about this: What is it for you independent cinema and commercial cinema? What differences you find? Do you think both ways to make cinema are compatible or way too different?

The movies that make me really passionate about are usually independent. It's more difficult to find projects that I really love at commercial cinema. 'Lord of the Rings' was an exception.

15. Before working with Alex, did you have any reference about him? Had you heard about him?

Before meeting Alex I didn't know anything about his films. I knew nothing about him. Now I've seen some of his movies and I loved them. I think he has a very unique style, a personal vision; he's a crazy mind.

16. before getting the role in Lord of the Rings you had already worked with a lot of famous persons, both actors and directors. What does it feel like when you are kid and you're working with people like Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis?

It was really cool to work with them, when I was a kid I could hardly believe it! I knew perfectly well who they were and it was very exciting to work with famous actors. It still gets me excited to work with actors I'm fan of.

17. I'm envious of the sex-scene. Did you felt bad at making it?

Those kinds of scenes put me nervous. They are very technical and you are in front of a lot of people. But they were funny to make. And Leonor helped making them easier.

18. Which ones are your hobbies in your free time?

I am a great music fan. I love photography and to watch movies. I think what I do in my free time is what any other normal person would do: I expend time with my friends, play video games some times; I have a small music company…

19. I've followed your career from 'The Good son'. 15 years had gone by from then. Which film did you liked best? Which one do you have the best memory from?

I should say, without being too obvious, that one of my best memories is to work for Lord of the Rings: living in New Zealand, making the best friends there; it was a fantastic experience.

20. Did you ever dream getting where you had (professionally)? Your career is impressive.

I've always known I would keep on working. But I never thought I would get this far, not to work with the people I've worked with! My only aspiration had been to keep on working. I feel very lucky.

21. Is there any concrete scene in 'Oxford Murders' that was especially difficult to make?

One of the most difficult ones was the final scene of the movie: it was very technical and had a lot dialogue. It was not easy to joint it, because it was not a conversation. But it was one of the funniest scenes as well, however complicated.

22. Who did you inherit those eyes from?

My mother.

23. Are you in any way implied with "The Hobbit" production?

I don't know. We have talked about two productions. It could be. It's a possibility.

24. Congratulations on your work! Even though it was a very short role, I loved your performance of the "cannibal" in Sin City. Would you like to work with Robert Rodriguez or with Tarantino again? Tell me a anecdote of the filming, please.

Thank you. It was great to work in Sin City because I am a huge fan of the comic. And Robert's! I made the film in two days with a 'croma'. And there were no other actors with me!

25. Hi. I'd love to know how you prepared the role for this film. What had you looked for to base (Martin) in? What have you read? Who do you have asked (for guidance)?

In this film there's a lot of dialogue that I had to prepare, and very complicated (at that). Learning it was complicated. I had to know the role well.

26. I want to congratulate you for never making a bad movie only to win money. It looks like you truly chose your roles when they are interesting. I wish more actors did the same! My question is: do you notice a lot of difference when you work for American productions and when you work for European directors like Alex de la Iglesia?

Thank you very much. It's very important for me to choose the kind of film I want to work in. I think the main differences between a European and American productions are basically artistic; European ones are more artistic.

27. I've always asked myself, where the young actors and actresses get that dark-side when they have to performance the bad-guy in the movie (even more so when we are speaking of a good interpretation like Bette Davis' or Sean Penn in Mystic River): I have started to believe that they truly have a dark side hidden somewhere inside. How is it that process to turn into the bad guy for an actor?

I think that working the dark-side of a role is very interesting. It's very important to know where that dark-side comes from. I'd always loved roles which have a dark-side.

28. How does an actor with your experience their career after 'touching the sky' like you did it with 'Lord of the Rings'?

I believe after Lord of the Rings, that was a unique project, I was most interested in making different kind of roles. I am always looking for new challenges, new projects and I'm sure there will be better projects than Lord of the Rings, though of course not in those dimensions. I don't think I'll ever work in something so huge.

29. Hi Elijah. How was it to work with Alex de la Iglesia? Was his English any good or your Spanish was better? Was Frodo a really signaling role in your career? One kiss from Salamanca, land I invite you to meet.

Hi Mariah. Alex thinks that he speaks terribly bad English but it's not that bad. My Spanish is far worse! I'd love to go to Salamanca. Radiohead made a marvelous concert, and incredible spectacle. They played 'Hail to the Thief''s songs before the album was aired.

30. Do you like theatre? Don't you feel the theatre call?

I love theatre, but my career has not been theatrically based. I have not seen many plays, but I'd love to work on the theatre some time.

31. Do you take care of yourself in any special way? Do you play any sport?

I should, but no. I think I might start this year…

32. Somebody like you, that despite being so young you have a great experience in the movies world, wouldn't you like to try and get behind the camera, direct the movie?

I'd like to try. I think a decision like this must come from the inside, it shouldn't be something forced. I think it'll come out. I feel like with all the experience I have it's like I have study in a Cinema School.

33. It looks like Hollywood is supporting Obama for president. Are you interested in politics? Which candidate you prefer?

I think at the moment I prefer Obama, but it's too soon. I'm not sure yet.

34. Are you planning on a comedy? We'd love to see that your mature and well chosen career is complete with different records.

Yes, I'd love to make a comedy. It's difficult to find intelligent comedy but I'd love to. I think it should be fun.

35. I have two short questions. Which one is your position for the scriptwriters strike? Which advice would you give to the Spanish directors so that our cinema would have more quality?

I am not such an upstart so as to give advice to the Spanish directors. They know very well what they have to do about their movies. About the strike: I am with the scriptwriters, it's a very important thing and it needs to get solved as soon as possible.

36. Which one is your precioussssss?

I have The Ring.

37. Hello handsome! Is it now that you are living your best professional moment?

I am very happy with my career and my life right now. I am working in different movies. I am very glad for everything.

38. I know I might be putting you on a compromise but, which one is your favourite movie for the Oscars?

One of my favourite this year is 'there would be blood' from Paul Thomas Anderson.

39. I understand that you are a great music fan, that you have thousands of CDs and that you have even play with the idea of creating a music company; is it true? Would you dare playing a musical-movie? (*note of the translator: on behalf of the person asking, Elijah is NOT famous in Spain. I think I was one of the few that knew he already had the company!, and films are doubled here, so not everybody knows that Elijah played Mumble!*)

I am open to play in any kind of movie. I love new experiences. I'd love to work on a musical movie!

40. Which role would you love to perform? Do you have any in mind?

I don't have any particular role I'd love to play, even though I'd love to make a movie about Buster Keaton. I'd love that. That'll be interesting.


Thank you very much for all your questions. I am sorry I couldn't answer to all. It has been very funny to answer, and had I known Spanish I would have written them directly. I hope you all go to see 'Oxford Murders' and that you enjoy it. I hope to come back soon to Spain. Kisses.
(*note from the translator**It says 'little kisses', but well*)

**Many thanks to Salwood and to Saura for the translation.

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