Martin Freeman on Sustaining Character in ‘The Hobbit’ Films
When the plans to make The Hobbit into a film — well, three films — were beginning to come together, many fans of Peter Jackson‘s prior film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings had only one actor in mind to play Bilbo Baggins in the prequel: Martin Freeman. In an interview with Reuters, Freeman spoke about the challenge of starring in three films as one character, but admits he has no clue on how to succeed in the film business.
Though Freeman is no stranger to sustaining a character over the course of a television series after doing both the original version of The Office and BBC’s Sherlock, he admits that the biggest challenge with The Hobbit is, “To have a job over that period of time and what is now three films. It was going to be two, and when I first took it on, I thought I’ve got to sustain this over two films, and now it’s three. It’s just keeping an eye on where you are and what your character is doing, and what he feels or thinks at any given moment on that day in that journey, because we’re obviously shooting very much out of sequence.”
However, even though Freeman’s face is on movie posters in theaters all over the world now, he confesses that he knows next to nothing about how to become a success in Hollywood. He explains, “My only navigation on those waters is artistic, and that might sound very precious, but I try and make it true. Some people have asked me for advice about the film business. I know nothing about the film industry, I know absolutely nothing … I suppose you try not to get too typecast, you try that with varying degrees of success.”