Hobbit gives Australia the ring of approval

Hobbit gives Australia the ring of approval

Scottish actor Billy Boyd was recently in Australia and he found time to chat to LESLEY SLADE about The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, as well as his love of surfing, Jedis and music…

Billy Boyd
HE might be best known for his role as the mischief-making, yet loveable, hobbit Pippin from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Billy Boyd is pleasantly just as affable and laid-back in person.

Boyd visited Australia recently as a special guest at Brisbane’s Supanova pop culture expo.

His fly-in visit only gave him a few days to spend in the Queensland capital, but he left suitably impressed.

“I haven’t been able to make it to Supanova in the past, but I’d spoken to people who had done it before and they’ve said it was great fun,” he smiles.

“And with The Hobbit filming, the plan was to go to New Zealand while I’m here, so I could visit the set.  But I’ve just found out I have to go to Canada for a film called Space Milkshake, so it’s just a quick visit.

“I’ll be really disappointed if I don’t get to see The Hobbit set eventually.  What’s great is that it’s pretty much the same crew that worked on The Lord of the Rings.  I was speaking to Elijah [Wood] who’s been there filming and he said it’s like déjà vu, because he feels like he never left.  So, yeah, I’d love to go back — I really miss New Zealand!”

The jovial Boyd described being part of one of the world’s most successful movie franchises as a life-changing experience.

“It’s crazy because it was like a whole other life.  We lived there for quite a while and the filming process was so extensive you forget that people met on set and got married and had kids while the movies were being made.  It was like one big family,” he laughs.

It’s hard to believe the fresh-faced Glaswegian is 43.  Even though he may look young, his maturity as an actor has served him well over the years.

Apart from the wealth of acting talent in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Boyd has also worked alongside the likes of Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Alfred Molina and Christopher Lloyd.

“It all came from Star Wars,” he jokes.  “I wanted to be a Jedi, so I became an actor.  I just love the idea of pretending to be someone else.”

Perhaps then it was destiny that the Scotsman, who once worked as a book binder and bound copies of The Lord of the Rings by hand, would one day become a member of the Fellowship and be seen on movie screens around the world.

Although it was a quick trip this time around, Boyd intends on coming back to Australia again to surf and tour with his band, Beecake.

“We’ve just finished working on our second album which we’ll probably release in early 2012.  It’s really exciting — we want to tour Australia and New Zealand with it and we’ll be doing gigs in the UK as well,” he says.

From singing celtic ballads in The Return of the King, to fronting his alternative rock band with guitar in hand, it’s doesn’t seem too much of a stretch for this multi-talented artist.

“I love doing film and music.  It’s great because no matter where we play there’ll always be some Lord of the Rings fans there and I think that’s brilliant.”