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#FanstRA When I played Balin in The Hobbit


How would you react if you suddenly got a phone call from Peter Jackson’s people, asking you to come out to New Zealand for a potential job offer? I was flown all the way to the other side of the world in order to play the part of Balin in The Hobbit.

Despite the fact that they’ve already finished filming, aside from a few pick-up shots.

And, crucially, despite me being a woman without acting experience.

I was sitting in a theatre, or I suppose it was a studio set really, where Peter Jackson was going through things, and then he said “this is what I want you to do, Traxy”. If I wanted the job, of course. He assured me accepting the job could lead to great things. I could become a kids editor!! My response to this was “kids? Meh”, but if it was kids TV, why not?

So I accepted, and phoned my mum to say that hrm, well, actually, I’ve been offered a job in New Zealand for a bit (“I’m phoning from there now!! They flew me out here!”), to be in a massive Hollywood film.

What followed next? Not dwarf boot camp – which was a shame, because I thought it would be a great way of getting in shape – but I was put into the clothes and the make-up, and was one of the guys. It was amazing!

Thorin was there, of course, I told him to get out of the way. Afterwards, or maybe it was even before we got into costume, I met the cast and they started dancing. Richard Armitage has got some serious moves, I tell ya! Wish you could have seen it!

And you know what?

The word I heard was Balin, but looking at photos, I think Gloin or Bifur was what I meant, because it wasn’t the white-bearded fella. I can’t even tell them apart in my dreams. For all intents and purposes, I was Balin.

And when I woke up, at 4:30am Thursday last week, hearing the Squeeze move beside me in bed obviously awake, I said “that was the WEIRDEST DREAM EVER. I was cast as Balin in The Hobbit!” And the Squeeze turned over and fell back asleep.

But I was still awake, remembering flying over Middle Earth as a male dwarf, along with my many comrades on a quest directed by Peter Jackson. It was a wild ride, and there wasn’t much actual acting going on – we mostly ad-libbed (there were no scripts anywhere), and at one point, I remember talking to one of the others, and we were wondering how much of this would actually make it into the film. It was like a very fancy LARP. With Richard Armitage.

It was all kinds of awesome.


Click image to see all posts from FanstRAvaganza 4!

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

6 thoughts on “#FanstRA When I played Balin in The Hobbit

  1. Oh envy envy envy. Not for being in that film (or that costume, for that matter), but for actually having RA dreams. I never do… And judging from your dream, they could be very entertaining… Good thing, too, that you were able to remember it. Happy weekend!

    1. I’ve had a few RA dreams before – at least two were uncomfortable, because he was more of a snob and wouldn’t talk to me, or he turned into the fashion police! Last dream I had I only remember that we talked and that he was sooooo nice. This was more of a Hobbit dream because RA was only a very small part of it. Still nice though! 🙂 Happy weekend!

  2. Heh. I had to look up which one was Balin. I adore Ken Stott and he was outstanding as Balin. He’s the wise one. So, you were Balin, huh? Hmmmm……:)

    What an entertaining dream! My fave bit is when you tell Thorin to get out of the way. LOL! D’ya think Balin would say that?

    I’m envious, too. That is one hell of a bountiful dream, filled with riches. As you said, “awesome”!

    1. LOL! I had to look up which one was Balin too, so I thought “wait, HIM?! That’s not the one, I had dark hair!“ Interesting that the name turned out to belong to the wise one.

      I was dropped off from something flying (possibly an airship?) and was running, so if Thorin didn’t want a dwarf smacking into him, he had to move! 😀 Nope, can’t really see Balin yelling “GERROUT THE WAY!!!!!“ either. 😉

  3. Awesome dream! LARPing with RA! Good times!
    I also snorted with laughter a few times whilst reading! 😉
    Xx

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