Peter (cont.): … but then the White Hand on their helmet is the first clue that Saruman – who has
the White Hand as his personal symbol – is behind this. It’s kind of intrigue and mystery in a way that can easily
overcomplicate what is already a complicated story. (beat) [Éowyn runs up the steps to the Golden Hall] Miranda Otto’s
first scene in the film.
Philippa: I love this dress. It’s one of Ngila’s great dresses.
Peter: In the book, Théodred’s death happens a little bit before the events of ‘The Two Towers’
[Philippa: Yeah.], and it’s sort of told in retrospect; and we liked the idea of Théoden having a son –
you know, a dying son – as part of our screen story, and so we’ve really brought Théodred’s death up into
the body of ‘The Two Towers’, which… It’s not technically in the same timeframe as it is here, as
opposed to the book. (beat) [Éomer tells his uncle about Théodred] Bernard under hours and hours’ worth of make
Peter: I think that was a four- or five-hour make up job that he had to go through. (beat) [Wormtongue appears]
Again, a very memorable part of the book: Brad Dourif as Wormtongue is superb. He had to shave his eyebrows off – not
a lot of people really notice it, although it does give him a weird experience; and Brad’s problem was that he had to
come down to New Zealand five different times during the course of two years to shoot his rôle, and his wife and child would
say goodbye to him on each of these five trips with eyebrows and he’d return home a few days later without any eyebrows.
[Philippa laughs] And it happened five times over two years!
Fran: He’s got a false nose in this…
Fran: … make up, hasn’t he? He’s got…
Peter: Prosthetic nose and some warts, I think – they glued on some warts [Fran: Mmm hmm.] and some
moles on his face.
Philippa: And there’s a patch of hair that’s fallen out that they scabbed up, and Brad loved that because
he would pick at it as part of his character’s performance.
Fran: And he’s got a cataract in one eye.
Philippa: That’s right.
Fran: A cloudy eye.
Peter: I love the idea that there’s some weird longing, some romantic urge on Wormtongue’s part towards
Fran: Yes. Well, what’s weird about Wormtongue is that he is so clearly identified both through his name and
his appearance as an evil character; and generally in Tolkien, he doesn’t do that – generally there’s a
bit more complexity in terms of how he… how his particular characters are drawn – but in Wormtongue’s case,
he is much more, sort of, just archetypally evil.
Philippa: We actually drew on it for the end scene, remember, which is not in this film.
Fran: He’s… yeah, he did start out as a…
Philippa: A good man.
Fran: A good man. And Théoden…
Philippa: [at same time as Fran] And Théoden goes there.
Fran: … references that.
Philippa: Yeah. He actually does tell us a little bit about where Gríma came from: there is stuff in the book about
Philippa: I mean, he actually reflects Saruman’s own form.
Peter: Right, okay. So he’s like a mini version of Saruman? [Fran agrees]
Philippa: Yeah. He is, yeah.
Peter: In the court of Edoras. [Philippa and Fran agree] (beat) A little tag-on bit here that’s
in the extended edition just to set up the idea of the Banishment a little bit clearer.
Philippa: And also, we liked the idea that Théoden had signed his nephew’s death warrant.