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Feature: The Two Towers

Let Slip the Dogs of War

Into battle

The overture to the Lord of the Rings is over, and now the War of the Ring starts to tear Middle-earth apart…

As the war spreads across Middle-earth, more and more races and individuals are dragged into the conflict. In The Two Towers, King Théoden of Rohan and his ward Eowyn become major figures, having played small parts in the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. But before battle can begin, Eowyn must persuade Théoden to abandon the counsel of his treacherous advisor Grima Wormtongue, played by Brad Dourif. There are personal stakes in the balance as well, thanks to Eowyn’s unrequited love for Aragorn, and Wormtongue’s ambition to take her as his bride.

The role of Eowyn looks set to catapault Australian actress Miranda Otto to the same fame achieved by her compatriots Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts. Xposé caught up with her at a New York City hotel right after she’d seen The Two Towers for the first time.

“I was actually really sure that Fellowship would be a hit,” the actress comments when asked whether she was worried that her own part in the latter sections of the trilogy might sink without trace if the first movie had bombed. “I don’t know, but I had that feeling from the moment I went to New Zealand and saw what they were doing. The project was so huge and the caliber of people on it was so great. I could see that there was money behind it, enough money so that the production values would be huge. I also knew that the book was a wonderful book and could be a great filmic story, and I knew that there were millions of Lord of the Rings fans all over the world.

“So I always felt the first film was right on course. I’m sure that a lot of the people who worked on it were nervous, but I was always pretty confident. It’s funny when I think about it. I actually worked on the film much less than a lot of people, as some of the actors were there for 18 months, and people like Pete [Jackson, the director] and the writers Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens] were working on this for years before any of the actors came on board. But I just had a feeling that Fellowship would find its audience and that it would get people interested in seeing The Two Towers and The Return of the King.”

After the scene setting of Fellowship, The Two Towers is a full-on war movie, but there’s still time for more intimate moments, “I think the emotions in the film came through very well. Eowyn and her unrequited love for Aragorn is a part of that, but it’s just a part of it,” Otto comments. “The film’s emotional heart is what happens between Frodo and Sam. They’re at each other’s throats because of the Ring and Gollum, and I think there’s a lot of emotion in the pity that you feel for Gollum. He was a Hobbit once, and what happened to Gollum could happen to Frodo if he can’t resist the temptations of the Ring.

by Deborah Donnelly

You can also read the thoughts and comments of Bernard Hill, Brad Dourif, Liv Tyler and Karl Urban in
Xposé #75

Photo © New Line Entertainment
Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Xposé #75, see below for ordering options
Xposé #75
January 2003
ships from Dec 12 2002
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