Christopher Lee Talks THE HOBBIT, HUGO and DARK SHADOWS

     December 29, 2011


In a Christmas address by the incomparable Christopher Lee, the actor remarked on his completed works of 2011 (including a tongue-in-cheek clarification of his role in The Wicker Tree). More notably, Lee also touched on his role in Hugo and his working relationship with director Martin Scorsese, his own personal vitality (Lee will turn 90 in 2012) and his work in Dark Shadows with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Oh and you might have been wondering about his reprisal of the role of Saruman in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies. Not to worry as Lee goes into some detail about his involvement and it’s safe to say the actor’s work has been completed on both films. Hit the jump to check out the video.

christopher-lee-saruman-lord-of-the-ringsThanks to TheOneRing for posting Lee’s Christmas message. While it’s nice to hear holiday well wishes from someone like Lee, many of you will want to skip ahead to hear his movie related news. You can find a breakdown of times below, along with the video.

Lee, addressing his own mortality, mentioned that he now only takes small parts, such as his small role in The Wicker Tree, which he stressed was “not the sequel to The Wicker Man in any way.” He also commented on his small role in Dark Shadows:

“I don’t play long parts. They must be short parts, but they’ve got to be parts that mean something, that matter, where people will notice when I’m on the screen and people will remember the character after they’ve seen the film.”

One character that will definitely be remembered is Lee’s portrayal of Saruman, the White wizard. Lee comments that though Saruman’s character has returned in The Hobbit films, he is now:

“A good and noble man and the head of the Council of Wizards, as he had always been.”

Check out the video below to see what else Lee had to say.

  • 2:20 Lee comments on The Wicker Tree
  • 2:55 Lee comments on Hugo and working with Scorsese
  • 6:30 Lee talks about both The Hobbit films
  • 7:55 Lee mentions that Aragorn and the Rohirrim will not be present in The Hobbit
  • 8:20 Lee talks about his 4 days of filming to fulfill his role in both films
  • 8:50 Lee comments on Saruman
  • 9:30 Lee talks about Dark Shadows

You can also click here to view the rest of his message in which Lee talks about various awards he’s been given over 2011, such as being named a Fellow of BAFTA.

Christopher Lee lord of the rings

  • Jeff

    Love Christopher Lee, but I hope he makes it to see The Hobbit, because he ain’t looking so healthy. Then again, I hope to live to be 89 and as revered.

    • Angmal

      Exactly. He does seem more frail than the last time I saw an interview with him, which explains why Jackson flew over to the UK to film his parts rather than ask him to make the trek to New Zealand. However, the guy is nearly 90, lucid and articulate – and still working! To think, the last ten or fifteen years have probably been the best of his career. The man’s an inspiration, and I hope PJ can at least get a rough cut of both films ready for him to see as soon as possible while he is still with us…

  • Richard

    Much love for Sir Christopher Lee. One of the greatest hands down.

  • Anthony

    Absolutely love Sir Christopher! He’s looking a little frail here. I have no doubt that he’ll make it to see both films.

  • Blob

    Saruman wasn’t in the Hobbit. Frodo wasn’t in the Hobbit. Neither was Legolas, Aaragon, or any of those LOTR characters Jackson is stuffing into this thing.

    The original King Kong was 1.5 hours; Jackson’s was nearly 3 hours. Each of the LOTR books was bigger than the Hobbit, yet each was made into a single movie. the Hobbit is being made into TWO movies.

    Jackson has proven to be an unreliable director over the past ten years, and his fascination with over-stuffing his films may rob the Hobbit of the simpleness of the original story. The Hobbit is NOT a prequel to LOTR; it’s the other way around.

    • noodles

      When you’re right you’re right. This movie is going to SUCK to anyone who knows how to read………..

      • Northern Star

        While you both are entitled to your opinions, don’t be so mean-spirited, it takes a heck of a lot of talent and effort to make a good movie, and Peter Jackson has made some GREAT ones, so wise up you two and act your ages (unless you really are a pair of four-year-old brats, you sound like it)! The ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was a truly exceptional achievement in filmmaking, and ‘The Hobbit’ films are going to be, at the very least, superbly entertaining if not more.

        God bless Christopher Lee, he sounds rather frail in his voice, perhaps his health is more dicey than we know, and he’s recording this message in the event he doesn’t see December 2012, I sincerely hope he does, he’s a living legend in films, he served his country during it’s darkest hour (WWII), and he is a total gentleman to boot…

      • noodles

        I’m just saying, with no disrespect to Mr lee, is this: I’m not a Harry Potter fan but my friends who are tell me that although they cut things out of the books they were still an accurate representation of the source material. That’s what bothers me. Why can’t you guys understand that? In no way can the hobbit be stretched out into TWO 3-hour movies. So that means that Jackson is just making things up out of his OWN mind. stay true to the books, that’s all I’m saying

      • Gulfroad

        Noodles, you are incorrect in saying there is no way to ‘stretch’ the Hobbit into two movies. Jackson is taken information written by Tolkien concerning events that took place concurrently with the Hobbit and including them in the film. They are not invented by Jackson, but by Tolkien himself. It is very easy to split to the Hobbit into 2 parts because there is so much happening in middle earth at that given time. And they all relate to each other. As a Tolkien fan for over 30 years, I am thrilled to see the inclusion of these scenes.

    • Sayid

      Aragorn is NOT in the film. The guy in the trailer is Fili.

      Also, Legolas is the son of the Elven King, and the White Council (with Galadrial and Saruman) does have some bearing on Gandalf’s absences.

      Lastly, Frodo appears in flash-forwards, having no affect on the faithfulness of Bilbo’s adventure.

      Give Jackson a chance. While not perfect, his LOTR films are wonderful adaptations of the books, far better than could be expected, and we owe him the benefit of the doubt, IMHO.

  • Lizard King

    Blob, when The Hobbit was written, Tolkien didn’t know he would write The Lord of the Rings. It is fair to say then, that if given a chance, incorporating characters that were created later, but are still a part of the same world could help to bring a broader scope to a very ambiguous world. The Hobbit’s simpleness is great, but that doesn’t mean adding what we know now about middle earth will hurt the movie. I feel like it will strengthen it and make it a world movie fans know and love.

  • O.R.

    Christopher Lee is brilliant in this video, though it’s kind of funny to me that, despite his well-wishing and the passion with which he talks about his films (well, maybe not The Wicker Tree: “They insisted they wanted me in the film”), he has the demeanor of a stern grandfather. After I saw this I had this weird sensation I should stop eating cookies from the jar and go do my homework instead. Seriously though, I do hope he gets to live in perfect health to see every film he mentioned and, if possible, many more years.

  • henri

    He was the best Dracula.

  • noodles

    If Jackson wants to make a movie in Middle-earth and not make the Hobbit then take a story from the Silmarillion or the Indeces at the end of Lord of the rings! But to take the Hobbit and butcher it is just not cool……..

    • O.R.

      I’m guessing he made The Hobbit because he wanted to make it. And how can you say he’s butchering it? Man, we’ve only seen two and a half minutes of footage, and they seemed pretty well-made!

    • Gulfroad

      Noodles, you really need to read Unfinished Tales and other works by Tolkien before you make assumptions about Jackson being unfaithful to the source material. He isn’t.

  • wacko3205

    How can anyone doubt Jackson’s love of the material & dedication to the sources?

    My only gripe with the LOTR Trilogy was bumping the Barrows outta…I always wanted to see the Barrow Wight & Tom Bombadill…& that was my cries.

    The rest of the material was banged out & rightly so.

    To even TRY to say that he’s butchering the Hobbit over a trailer, some interviews, concept art, & production videoes…well…it appears we’re dealing with a Cave Troll.

  • Colleen

    How fantastic to be 90 and still working at what you love. Best wishes to you, Count!

  • Barnabas Collins

    There’s been lots of speculation about what he plays in the vampire pic Dark Shadows. Tim Burton’s a huge Lee fan, so Christopher’s small role will definitely be a memorable one.

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  • ea orourke

    FIRST of ALL – This string was supposed to be about Mr. Lee.

    SECOND of ALL – RELAX, Noodles. You’ll die way too young of some sorta malady getting all worked up like that over a little artistic license!!