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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Billy Boyd answered your questions
Lord of the Rings hobbits with Billy Boyd front
Billy Boyd (front) plans to return to the stage this year
The Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd, who plays Pippin the hobbit, promised to answer your questions in March.

He fell ill at the time, but has now been able to answer a selection of the hundreds of questions sent by BBC News Online users.

We all know that the cast became good friends during the filming of LOTR, but what was your first impression of your cast-mates? Leti Rojas, Mexico

When we arrived in New Zealand, people were arriving over the course of a month before filming started. Myself and Orlando Bloom were a couple of the first people to arrive and when anyone else arrived, there was a big meal to welcome them to New Zealand.

I don't know whether it was a piece of genius on Peter Jackson's behalf or whether it was a piece of luck that everyone got on so well. And it was like that for the whole year and a half.

Does all the girly adulation that Orlando Bloom has received from fans really get on your nerves? Yvette Rooke, UK

No, not at all. Orlando's a great guy and he kind of under-played all that stuff. It's incredible - he's gone straight from drama school to the calibre of the parts of movies that he's working on, and it's fantastic. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Every once in a while, I run into people who say Pippin and Merry don't have much important to do with the story itself. What's your take on this? Haley, US/India

If you look at the Two Towers, ultimately what happens is that Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli all helped to defend a castle - Helm's Deep. But Merry and Pippin bring down Isengard and bring down Saruman, which is the most huge thing that's happened in the story. So they do a huge amount.

In the Fellowship, Pippin probably does more harm than good but he learns from that and matures. And when you look at The Return of the King, everyone has a part to play.

In which country do you find Lord of the Rings to be the biggest deal? Tracey Loveridge, US

Probably the US actually, and I was kind of surprised at that because Tolkien is such a part of British society. I can understand the hold that it has and it's really enjoyable meeting people from Britain who have read it when they were kids. But I think it's amazing the amount of people in the US who hadn't read the book and got so involved in the movies that they're now huge Tolkien fans and are reading and re-reading the books.

Do you think that the third and final film, The Return of the King, will sweep up the most awards in next year's ceremonies? Nienna, UK

Oh God, I've absolutely no idea how these award things work. I do think that if Peter Jackson doesn't get an Oscar for best director at some point during these three movies - and obviously we're going into the last chance at that - it is a travesty.

It really is a cruel joke if people don't recognise the feat that he's done. But that's the only one that I'm really bothered about - and I don't think Pete's the kind of guy who would worry too much about it either. But I do think that people should recognise what he did in these movies.

Are you overwhelmed with the amount of fame you are receiving, or are you handling it pretty well? Sara, Canada

On a day-to-day basis, it's fine. I'm back in Scotland whenever I can be and hanging out with the same people. It is strange to be recognised, which happens every day somewhere.

It is strange when you're from a more theatre background. But it's not overwhelming. I think I'm maybe a bit long in the tooth for that now and I've got too many good friends who would pull me down if I did find it overwhelming me.

What are you planning on doing or are doing after the Lord of the Rings trilogy is over? Samantha, US

I haven't looked that far ahead. I'm just looking at doing stuff this year. I just finished off working on Master and Commander [new film with Russell Crowe]. I think it's going to be a great film. Peter Weir has been one of my favourite directors for so many years and he just doesn't make bad movies. I'm really looking forward to seeing that film.

And I'm just looking at a couple of other scripts and also thinking about maybe doing some theatre later on this year.

What is it like doing other movies when you've been a part of something so amazing already? Emily Foster, Bermuda

It is strange because you can get the mentality that in your career you've always got to be stepping up. So it kind of feels like there's nowhere else to go after The Lord of the Rings because it's such a huge movie.

You have to keep the mentality of being an actor and taking every job on its own merits and not be thinking 'is this as big as my last job?' I think as long as you're always happy in work that excites you, that's the most important thing.

Why did you agree to star in the low-budget film, Sniper 470? Ian, UK

That's exactly what I'm talking about. I was in Scotland and the script arrived and I'd never read anything like it. It was just something really different. I met up with the director just because I felt it was something exciting and different, and it seemed like a real actor's job.

It's just one man and he's supposed to be in space. It's all about solitude and loneliness and fear. It's doing very well in festivals all over the world. If it's a good script and a good character then I'll do it. If you do things from your heart, it normally turns out right.

What has been the one occasion that has most affected your life? Paige, USA

If we're talking about acting, then I suppose it was the first time I was ever on stage, which was at primary school doing the Artful Dodger in Oliver. I would have been probably 10.

I want to know whether you read the Lord of the Rings book and what kind of books you like to read. Emilia Stoimenova, Bulgaria

I didn't actually read it until I got the part, and since then I've probably read it 10 times. It's a book I probably know better than any other book. I read anything. One of my favourite things is just to ask someone what their favourite book is, and I'll go out and read that because there's a reason it's their favourite. When I worked in a printer's, whatever book I was printing, I would read that.

From a Scot living in Christchurch, New Zealand, what did your taste buds crave the most whilst you were living here in NZ? Alyson McTaggart, New Zealand

My sister's home-made soup. And they do a strange thing with pizzas - they do turkey and cranberry pizzas, things like that, when all you want is a pepperoni.

Are you planning to return to the theatre? Some time ago I heard you planned to do so together with Dominic Monaghan. Ekaterina, Russia

There were plans for me and Dom to do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, which we were thinking about doing for a while. But just because of other work commitments and time, we couldn't do it.

I'm looking at something that I might be doing later this year on stage, which I'm really looking forward to if we can work it in. It's two years since I've done any stage stuff now. But I shouldn't say what it is until we work out the dates and stuff.

I just would like to know about the script that you and Dominic Monaghan are working on. Shantil, Australia

It's a film script that we started writing. We learned how to scuba dive in New Zealand and we had such a laugh doing it - it was outrageously funny - that we started saying 'we need to write some of this stuff down'. So we wrote a script about two British guys running a scuba school in Miami which is pretty much finished.

If Dom's not telling me a lie, he's actually typing it out as we speak. There are a few people who want to read it and are interested in making it. A lot of the script was written when we were sitting up Treebeard because we'd be up there for quite some time and had no-one else to talk to, so we wrote part of it then.

If they remade your favourite classic movie, which movie would it be and which character would you like to play in the movie? Elisa Kelsey, US

It's hard because I normally don't like remakes. I think the only reason to make a remake is if it was a good script and they didn't make a good movie of it. First time around, I would have loved to have played Inspector Clouseau. I think that's some of the best comedy on screen ever. But that was because of Peter Sellers.

If Peter Jackson had the inclination to film The Hobbit, do you think the LOTR cast could play the roles? Debra Li, England

They probably couldn't because there's not many characters from The Lord of the Rings in The Hobbit. There's only Bilbo, but he's only a very young man, and I'm sure Ian [McKellen] would do Gandalf. I couldn't see anyone else playing Gandalf now. But the other characters don't appear.

Visual effects prize for Rings
21 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Hobbits hold off Scorsese
14 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
Online critics reward Two Towers
08 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
Tolkien towers over US box office
06 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
The Two Towers: Your views
27 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Rings sequel proves worthy successor
11 Dec 02  |  Entertainment

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