Peter Jackson is a man I’ve wanted to interview for a long time. Jackson directed the 2005 remake of King Kong and recently “the lovely bones”, considered a surprise success, as well as other hits such as “Heavenly Creatures”. However his magnum opus to date is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the final film of which scooped an incredible 11 oscars, a joint record for any movie in history and in preparation for this interview I had decided to focus much of my questions on them.
I wait in my office for 20 mins nervously before Peter Jackson walks in. He is looking well kept, wearing a suit and tie, though slightly agitated.
Q: We’re delighted to have you with us Mr. Jackson
Peter Jackon doesn’t reply but just sits down with legs folded. He brings a dusty blue duffle bag into the room, placing it beside him on the floor.
Q:The Lord of the Rings books are undoubtedly iconic and many millions of fans had waited a long time for them to be made into movies… what was the best moment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for you?
He stands up and starts mumbling to himself and shuffling. He walks around a little before declaring:
PJ: The great Mr. Tolkien always said the Mines of Moria were his favourite scene and I agree, so it is with him, so it is with me.
Q: Right so… so when did you realise that it was your destiny to make these books into a movie?
PJ: Heh?….well heh, it was inevitable really, I used to play with little toys as a child. Action figures based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, taking off their cloths and painting guns on their naked bodies. I had a collection of anatomically enhanced wooden dolls as such, including a -
He ambles to the window, gazing out at a preening crow on a nearby branch. He is laughing to himself, taking large swigs from an opaque plastic bottle in this pocket
Q: The Lord of Rings is often—-
PJ: SHUT UP I’M NOT FINSHED……
He is uneasily strumming the air-guitar, shaking his head from side to side
PJ: Did you ever get the feeling you were born to do something?
Q: (nervously) um….please sir, if we could get back to the questions at hand…. the…. The lord of the Rings was a seriously risky venture for New Line who funded the film, how sure were you initially of its success?
PJ: Oh I was sure.
Q: What made you so confident?
PJ:Well J.R.R Tolkien promised me fulfilment and the justification of my harrowing existence. He then helped me cast and direct the movies and now tells me what to do with the money I’ve earned.
Q: Right, well sometimes it seems like he’s looking over all of us, like he really would have wanted the films to turn out like they did
PJ: No, he actually calls to my house and writes down what I’ve got to do.
Q: Well I’m not sure I understand what you mean, he’s been dead since 1973
PJ: Last night as I stood there chopping raw steaks with “choppy” the joy of my knife collection, I reasoned you’d think Tolkien to be dead. I saw you denying his existence. The images became clearer to me the more I chopped, with each blood curdling smash reinforcing the painful reality. As I stabbed away I could actually feel your short sightedness tighten round my neck, like a child tucked into bed too tightly by a vindictive parent. I found myself chopping extra steaks for the next night too, getting a thrill from the certainty of our encounter today!
Q: (now covered in a cold sweat), Mr. Jackson ….sir.,would you like a glass of water perhaps? We don’t have to do this interview now you know and -
PJ: – Let me show you something.
He walks to my desk and takes out a diary from inside his shirt and opens it’s moist pages very slowly
Q: Is that…
Q: Ooooooowww!!!! My eye, oh god
PJ: Hahahahahaha. ….ah….MUHAHAhahah
Q:What the hell is this? Sir this could have been written by anybody, Mr. Tolkien is dead over 35 years!
PJ: Mr. Tolkiens searing tentacles are entwined into my soul and his wrath breaths down my neck, with each beat of my heart he devours another piece of me and -
He grabs me by the lapel.
PJ: Understand son when I say shut up you shut up?
Q: But you didn’t….
He is starting to take off his shoes
PJ: You’ve done it now!…
Q: Please tell me you believe Mr Tolkien is dead?
PJ: You just don’t get it do you, death, life it’s not always as black and white as that, things aren’t always as clear as they are in life.
His shoes off, he throws them and I watch as they sail across to the other side of the room. He is now standing barefoot, having not worn socks. He makes sinister gestures with his hands
PJ: Recognise me yet?
Q: I’d just like to remind our readers that Mr. Jackson is under a lot of stress right now and…..
PJ: NO – you just don’t get it do you!?……….I AM J.R.R. Tolkien
At this point he unbuttons and takes off his shirt to reveal his entire chest tattooed to look like another mans head
Q: Oh my god….
He takes another swig from his bottle, which I now recognise to be petrol and spits into the air, igniting it with a lighter concealed in his sweaty palm.
PJ: You have exasperated my patience! Like a tiny Kangaroo rat chased by a hungry dingo over the boiling stretches of the Australian desert – you will know PAIN!
Q: Mr Jackson………..you’re…. you’re completely mad!!
He breathes flames all over my desk then laughs mightily as the fire alarm goes off
PJ: Well that’s my signal to go leave, wouldn’t want your friends in the fire dept finding out our little secret now would we?!!
He takes my filing cabinet and pushes it out the enormous glass window. He then dons his backpack and jumps. I look over the edge to see a silhouette in a parachute sailing beautifully over the city. He is wearing an inflatable dragons tail. I stand there in awe, a tear in my eye.
“Truly that man was Tolkien” I said.