The Hobbit Interviews: Jed Brophy On Nori

‘If Nori were English, he’d be a cockney...'

Like his brother-in-arms Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy has worked with Peter Jackson since his gore-filled early days. He’s appeared in Heavenly Creatures and popped up in a range of villainous guises across The Lord Of The Rings trilogy including Sharku, a warg rider and a Nazgûl (if a death-dealing servant of Sauron can be said to “pop up” anywhere – and they probably can’t). If flying around on a fell beast doesn’t give a man his Middle-earth bearings, joining Thorin’s company on a quest for distant treasure should do the trick. The long time WETA-ite chatted to Empire’s Ian Nathan about playing Nori.

Tell us about Nori...
He’s a poacher, he’s been out in the wild on his own. He’s the brother of Dori and Ori, who comes back into the fold to go on this journey. He’s not unused to adventure, being a bit of a thief. He has a lot of daggers secreted about his body. If he were English, he’d be a cockney.

So he’s up for a scrap?
Dwarves get offended and fight each other a lot, but they don’t hold grudges with each other. They do hold grudges with elves...

Surely with plenty of comedy as well.
When dwarves are alone as a group, the comedy between them is great, but they don’t tend to do that in front of other people. They are more reserved around other races, but with each other they are like a bunch of four-year-olds in the playground. The food fight with Baggins is hilarious. Bombur is very great, so he tends to be as deadly towards us as he is towards the enemy.

You look fairly padded out.
The oufits are one of the more arduous gigs, just in terms of the heat and the weight. We have just done a lot of fitness training to get our bodies ready to be fat! Funnily enough, the padding helps the walk. The hardest thing is to keep yourself cooled down between takes.

How much fun have you had?
We Kiwis have to remind ourselves we’re actually on it. I was alone at home when I found out and it still took me about three hours to calm down. I remember seeing Mark Hadlow (Dori) across the airport, heading for the costume check, and he just had this big grin.

Did you ever think The Hobbit wouldn’t happen?
I have to admit, I had faith all the way along. I’ve always had faith that this particular bunch of filmmakers would keep it up and running.

The dwarves make a tight unit.
We were lucky that during the delays we were still able to be together and work on our little family groups too. It’s been great.

What’s it been like acting in a group?
Everyone gets their close-ups. As you know, his films are as much about reaction shots as dialogue. We’ve all had a lot more to do than was originally in the script because he’s seen moments that he really likes and tool the time to film them.

Do you think small?
Dwarves think as warriors! It’s a genetic blueprint – they just form a battle formation like the Romans.