It’s not a bad year to be a Tolkien fan! We got a fantastical biopic in May, and Friday, during New York Comic Con (NYCC), Sean Astin and Billy Boyd took fans back to the Shire during “Tales from the Road to Mordor: A Hobbits Reunion Panel.”
During the panel, which was moderated by Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bring It On), Astin and Boyd displayed much of the jovial charm fans came to love and expect from their hobbit characters, Samwise Gamgee and Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took, respectively.
It’s hard to believe that the first Lord of the Rings film (The Fellowship of the Ring) debuted roughly 18 years ago, in 2001, but that helps explain why the reunion panel was a bit short on revelations (and a few hobbits, dwarves, men, and elves, to say the least). Nonetheless, fans weren’t complaining. Between Boyd and Astin revealing which cast member was the worst prankster (or best, depending on your sense of humor) and debating which hobbit really saved the fate of Middle-earth to hamming it up in a way that only hobbits, errr people, who have been friends for nearly two decades can, there was scarcely a moment during the 45-minute chat devoid of raucous laughter.
Plus, there was quite the LOTR cosplay on display. They gathered on stay for a pre-panel photo-op and some love from their fellow fans.
Read about five of our favorite moments below!
Apparently, these hobbits are super into kissing.
When asked what the cast did to bond and form an authentic community, things got interesting.
“There was a lot of kissing,” Astin says.
“Well, I like to kiss,” Boyd adds.
Astin thinks LOTR belongs in the classic film canon alongside titles such as Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia.
“It absolutely holds up as a piece of drama,” Astin says. “… I think it’s going to be like that forever. It’s permanent. … I love old movies. I love Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia and these kinds of movies. And I feel like we were a part of something that belongs in a category with those films.”
Timing isn’t the Fellowship’s strong point.
“The film, a lot of it was about these feet,” Boyd says. “… So I thought, I’m going to get [my tattoo] on my foot, … not thinking we still had a couple of weeks of filming. So then you’ve got an open sore. So then it’s not just someone gluing feet on, it’s gluing feet on an open wound.”
“Does anybody want to know the first substance they apply to the foot before the glue?” Astin asks. “Alcohol! And what do they use to get it off at the end of the night? Alcohol! It didn’t get infected. …”
Boyd discovered The Hobbit with his friends in Glasgow, Scotland, as a kid.
“Growing up in Scotland, me and my friends did nothing but play soccer,” Boyd says. “That’s all we did. And then one day, one of the guys said, I’m reading this book The Hobbit, and it’s amazing. You should all get it. … And we all read The Hobbit together. It’s amazing that these street kids in Glasgow, Scotland, were so affected by this book. I went on to try and tried to read Lord of the Rings at that time, but since Bilbo wasn’t the main guy, I didn’t want it.”
Boyd and Monaghan tricked Astin into thinking they were telepathic.
“Me and Dom worked out this thing where Dom could pick anything in a room, like that computer, and then he would just think about it, and I would know it was that computer,” Boyd says. “And we were so good at this, that Sean ended up believing that we had a link. That we were actually linked through our minds.”
“I begged them to tell me,” Astin says. “I begged! Do you know what the word ‘beg’ means? I think it’s used colloquially to mean ‘ask,’ I mean pleading with them, begging them to tell me.”
“He was begging us to tell the trick, and then he actually did believe that there was no trick,” Astin says. “It was lovely. It was such a naive but beautiful thing.”
“… Basically, Dom and Billy are mean girls,” Astin says.
Stay tuned for NYCC news throughout the weekend!
Photo: New Line Cinema