There’s been some concern from Tolkien purists about the addition of new characters to The Hobbit scripts. Interestingly enough, Evangeline Lilly views herself as somewhat of a stickler for adhering to the text as closely as possible, but says she understands why Peter Jackson wanted Tauriel in the new movies.
“[Yes], I am very concerned to this day that people will watch the film and I’ll be the black mark on the film. I know how adamant the purists are and I’m one of them!” Lilly told SFX.
“That said, upon reading The Hobbit again, as an adult, I can see why additional characters were needed to round out the story as an adaptation – especially female characters! The Hobbit didn’t include female characters at all and was a very linear story, a book for children, really.”
According to Lilly, Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are keeping Tolkien’s world intact, while simply adding a third dimension to an otherwise very two-dimensional story.
“When the original [LOTR] came out in theaters, I swore up and down that I would not see them because I thought it was sacrilege that anyone would adapt Tolkien’s work. I didn’t think anyone would justify films by making them as good as they should be.
“Then my entire family when I was visiting went to see the movie and so I relented and went. We were all fans of the books and we were all blown away! It was a little piece of magic what Peter Jackson accomplished because it was truly a homage to the books rather than an offense.”
Evangeline Lilly recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly about her character Tauriel in the upcoming, highly-anticipated Hobbit films.
When asked if she had to learn archery and swordplay, Lilly said:
“Yes, she is a warrior. She’s actually the head of the Elven guard. She’s the big shot in the army. So she knows how to wield any weapon, but the primary weapons that she uses are a bow and arrow and two daggers. And she’s lethal and deadly. You definitely wouldn’t want to be caught in a dark alley next to Tauriel.”
She also commented on how much we’ll see the character.
“She’s not in the first film very much. She comes into the first film near the end, and has a very small part to play. Her role in the second film is much more involved. Although, I have to say, when I first read the scripts and took the job, she had a lot less going on in the second film. I think the role is becoming a bit more demanding that I had expected it to be. There’s a lot more for me to do now, which is a lot of fun, but it’s a little more pressure.”
Lilly added that she has to go back to New Zealand for five more months of filming.