Billy Boyd

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Interviewed by Anwar Brett

Billy Boyd has gone from being an unknown Scottish actor to a household face thanks to his performance as Pippin in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He's also set to co-star alongside Russell Crowe in Peter Weir's upcoming period drama "Master and Commander"...

You've managed to pursue a varied career. But are you ever worried about the risk of becoming too closely identified with one particular role?

You could probably make quite a good career out of just playing the one character. But speaking personally, I have to feel as though I'm pushing myself and trying to find things that aren't easy for me. Otherwise I don't know if I'd want to keep on doing it. As long as people keep giving me work that's great.

Were you a fan of Tolkien before becoming involved in the films?

I wasn't into Tolkien at school really. But the story is timeless, the themes that it touches on are contained in cultures all around the world. The innocent on a quest, the pretender, an inanimate object that holds evil - it's really strange that these themes are there in so many different countries' folklore.

Did you ever see the animated version of the film that was released in the late 70s?

I think I'd just read The Hobbit and was very excited about seeing it, but I remember being rather disappointed.

Are films like "Lord of the Rings" trilogy a good opportunity for you to pick the brains of older, wiser heads that might be acting alongside you?

Definitely, I've had some of the greatest acting lessons of my life on these movies. Not asking them so much as watching people like Ian Holm. And Ian McKellen, he puts fantastic detail into everything he does. It's terrific watching how these great actors do what they do. You couldn't ask for a better acting lesson.

And soon we'll see you working with Russell Crowe, in Peter Weir's next film...

Yes, I've instructed my agent that from now on I only want to work with Antipodeans called Peter!

"Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" opens in UK cinemas on Wednesday 18th December 2002.