Peter Jackson, who directed Ian Holm in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, has paid tribute to the actor, who passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease this week. Holm played the role of Bilbo Baggins across both trilogies, retiring from acting after he had completed work on the third Hobbit film. Jackson, who started his career directing low-budget independent shock-horror films in New Zealand, became one of the most iconic directors in the world after helming The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Jackson has gone on to direct and produce a number of blockbusters since, including a King Kong reboot, and the oft-maligned Hobbit trilogy. Known for his calm and centered approach to film-making, Jackson is also a family man, including his children in cameos in the Lord of the Rings films, and sharing writing and producing duties on his films with long-time partner, Fran Walsh.
Following the passing of Holm, Jackson has taken to Facebook to post a long and heartfelt message paying tribute to the actor. It traces the course of his working relationship with Holm, while also documenting the impact he made on the filmmaker’s life and family. Jackson mentions being “nervous” about directing Holm as Bilbo Baggins on his first day on the Lord of the Rings set, but says that the veteran actor turned out to be calm and approachable. He also tells a story about Holm entertaining a group of child extras on the shoot, keeping them busy while the crew set up a shot. You can read Jackson’s entire tribute, linked below.
Jackson’s tribute, which includes a number of never-before-seen photos from behind the scenes of both trilogies, also reveals that Holm already had Parkinson’s and had unofficially retired from acting when he appeared in The Hobbit. In order to work around the actor’s disease, Jackson transported the entire Bag End set to London, so that Holm could work close to home. As he was unable to remember lines, Holm was assisted by his wife Sophie de Stempel as well as Elijah Wood, who had become good friends with Holm while shooting The Lord of the Rings.
Jackson’s tribute is not only a moving piece of writing, but also a fascinating insight into the kinds of relationships that are formed while making films. Not to mention the fact that it reveals a great deal about the process behind shooting two of the largest movie trilogies of all time. It is also a reminder that the legacy of most actors is not what is seen on screen, but the impact that they have on the lives of those they work with.
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Source: Peter Jackson/Facebook