Do you have a question you'd like to ask Ben?? Send your questions to me and I'll pass them on to him! Answers will be posted here about once a week/month. PLEASE put the subject as "Ask Fereveldir". :-) Also, check to see if your question has already been answered before sending it! Thanks.



Questions & Answers-- 12-27-04

Anonymous asks:
"Hey Ben, I hope you're doing alright? I finally did finish my armor and no I couldn't bend at the waist which was a problem when I dropped my helmet...3 times. Anyway my question is: Do you play any instruments of any kind?? And if yes what?? "


Ben's answer:
"Hehehe, if you can’t bend at the waist you must have done it right :-) There is nothing quite as amusing as a group of elves standing around something one of them has dropped, just looking forlornly at the ground. Though, after a while you get used to it. I’d love to see some pictures of the armour you made.
I don’t really play any instruments, although I have tried my hand at the penny whistle. It is a great instrument and I have some friend s who can make the most amazing music with it. I really should practice more…"

Anonymous asks:
"Dear Ben, Did you have to get any special type of training for the sword and bow? Also, a question about the armor. I noticed that there are straps and lacing on the hip armor. Were they both tightened up, or was one of the decorative? Thanks for taking the time to answer this :)"


Ben's answer:
"Yep, we did get some training with the swords. All the main elf extras went through ‘style training’ which included swordplay. Though, most of what we learned we got from watching the stunties and practicing with the other extras while no one was watching :-) The lacing did most of the work but the straps were used as well, the suits were pretty tight. I think I remember hearing that the lacing was never meant to be seen, but because of the way things happened it was seen. The straps were mostly to look pretty."

Anonymous asks:
"Hey Ben, i really like your character you play him so well. But i was wondering (although you may not know this) there are three races of elves noldor, vanyar, and sindar, and they have sub categories i was wondering which you would classify him under? if you know? and if the ppl you work with already classify him under one. He has blonde leading me to believe hes vanyar, just wondering and keep the good work up!"


Ben's answer:
"I have thought about this a little. I do know that I am a Lorien elf, which means I probably am Vanyar. I can't remember right now where that lineage comes from. Whe we were working we basically thought about where in Middle Earth the elves came from, Rivendell, Mirkwood, or Lorien. Sorry I can't be more help right now."

Anonymous asks:
"What was it like to be in "Middle Earth"? And when you saw the finished product were you proud of yourself? Which LotR was more fun filming?"


Ben's answer:
"Hmm, what was it like? It was a real experience, especially when we were on location somewhere, away from the studio. It did really feel like we were in there, not just in a movie set. Sometimes when all you could see were castle walls and people in costume and it was easy to forget that it wasn’t. Especially in Minas Tirith, they built the whole city. Walking around it, looking into shops and buildings was amazing. For me the most fun part was filming Helms Deep, mostly because we were doing that for about 6 months. It was enough time for everyone to get to know each other. Sometimes us extras would just start doing crazy things like howling at the wind or singing for no reason, it was great.And, yes, it did feel really good to see it on screen :-)"

Wayne asks:
"Hi Ben, I have over 100 LOTR autographs and would loved to have yours in my collection. Are you going to do any conventions or could I send a photo or card to you?"


Ben's answer:
"I don’t have anything set up for autographs at the moment. I’ll let you know if we get anything sorted for that. I don’t have any plans to do conventions at the moment. Living in New Zealand makes it difficult and very expensive to make it to any North American or European conventions. If I happen to be invited by someone willing to pay the airfare it might happen."

**There is one more question in this set, it involved a couple of pictures on my site and the site was down when Ben tried to view them. This question & answer will be up soon. :-)


Questions & Answers-- 7-2-04

Anonymous asks:
"fevereldir did you and all the other elves die at helm's deep ? how many elves were at hel's deep? "


Ben's answer:
"Well, the official line is that the elves all died, but I like to think that I managed to get out alive. If you squint hard enough you might even see me on a boat in the grey havens :-)
As for the number, I'd have to guess (thinking about the wide shots of the Deeping Wall). I think I'd say about 5-600. "

Carolyn & Alex asks:
"Hi Ben! Two questions. Did you ever get a chance to see (up close) or to speak with Viggo Mortensen and/or Orlando Bloom? Next question, well, it's not really a question, more of a statement really.... We here in Canada (all two of us at this computer) want to make it very clear that Fereveldir/You are far more popular and more famous than Figwit! Might we add, that you are the better looking Elf as well..... Wonderful job in LOTR.... is that really your hair???? It's so gorgeous!!!!!! We're jealous..... Thanks a lot! Cheers!"


Ben's answer:
"Yup, I did have a chance to talk to most of the stars at some stage. I bumped into Viggo at one of the wrap parties but I was looking for someone else and didn't realise it was him until later. I hope he didn't think I was giving him the cold shoulder, he was really cool to work with.
Yeh! I'm more popular than Figwit! Rockin! And yes, it is my own hair (I still have it :-) Thanks"

Jen asks:
"Hi, Ben. Do you have any idea who played Anendel (http://shop.decipher.com/TCG/Card.aspx?gameID=7&cardID=1793)? Thanks for your time in answering my question."


Ben's answer:
"Sorry, I don't know him.. His face looks familiar but there were a lot of us elves."

Hana asks:
"Hey Ben, when are you coming back to Wellington so we can give you a hero's welcome ;) and will you come for drinks with me and a certain Rohan soldier (you have to guess who it is) when you get back? i still have the leftover bits from those ears"


Ben's answer:
"Heh. I should be back in the country mid-July, unless my plans change. Again. I'm certainly up for homecoming drinks :-) See ya"



Questions & Answers-- 3-3-04

Bec J asks:
"How are you? firstly I would like to say you played the role of an elf very well and you look good as a blonde. I do have one question I hope you or someone can answer for me, the elf who was called Nifalath and is featured on this site, who is the actor that plays him? if you can answer this question I would be grateful and I hope life treats you well and keep up the good work. Kind regards"


Ben's answer:
"Sorry to say I don't remember anything about him. He looks familiar but I can't put a name to him. Yes, his origin is Lothlorien, all the elves in that armor were."

Daniel asks:
"Hi Ben, I have a couple of questions. What was like to be in the costumesand all that? You had three, if I am counting right. Also, I am making a fan film this up coming summer and when I found this site I saw the orange costume, that I believe you wear in Rivendell. I was wondeing if you could describe it for me, cause of the pics I saw...it's great. You looked smashing in it as you do the two sets of armor! Thanks"


Ben's answer:
"Thanks Daniel. Hmm, I don't remember much about that costume, I only had it for a couple of days. Mostly I remember being told to be careful and not get it dirty (lots of mud on set). From what I recall it was a long flowing orange gown, but you can tell that from the pictures :-) I had lots of different costumes through the course of the film, I played many different races, and for each I had several different costumes. I wouldn't even be able to guess and accurate number now. It was really cool to have wear the costumes, it really made me feel like I was there, really a part of Middle Earth. That and the sets were the best things."

Laozamor asks:
"Hey, with the way u compliment the food it must have been good ;) But how long/often did u have to "be a corpse, lying over a rock in a pool of my blood" sounds wonderful, washing blood out of ur hair and everything. But (now that ROTK is up and running) what was ur favorite sceen or extra u got to play? Nice talkin' to ya ;)"


Ben's answer:
"Mmmmm, food, I miss it lots......
I did many variations of 'corpse with blood', sometimes on the rocks, sometimes under them. Maybe in a painful heap or draped over a horse, I just know I spent a lot of time lying around dead. Washing the blood out was not really that much fun though.
Honestly, my favorite scene to do was ramming down the main gate at Helms Deep. It was great fun being on the back of the ram, while at the same time being inside, trying to shore up the door. Some of the best extra work in the film was done behind the door, when the camera was outside :-)"

Anonymous asks:
"Did you get the chance to work with Haldir (Craig Parker)? If you did how was it? Did you survive Helms Deep?"


Ben's answer:
"Yup, I did work on set with Craig Parker, didn't get to know him though. Did I survive helms deep, well, that is a question that I can't really answer. According to people high up in the chain, none of the elves made it. But if you look very, very closely, you just might see me on a boat in the Grey Havens :-)"

Naurarwen Fangorn asks:
"To Mr Britton/Ben/Fereveldir/Pointy Earred Bow Twanger, Which ever floats your boat? I am making the Helms Deep armor for a convention in May and for one thing would love to show you some pics when I'm done. If thats alright with you of course. I have lots of questions about elves, the armor and so but What I was wondering is this? Do you ever do any conventions or anything like that? And if yes where? I love the people who play the elves in the movies and would like to see more of them at conventions. Anyways thanks for answering"


Ben's answer:
"Hey there, Yes, I'd love to see what you make. You do realise that you chose the most uncomfortable armor out of the whole movie to make? If you do it right, you will hardly be able to bend at the waist :-)
Unfortunately I'm not ina position to do conventions at the moment (work has me tied to China for a while). Maybe I will later, but I don't know who to contact.
Great to hear from you"



Questions & Answers-- 10-30-03

AJ asks:
"i have several questions. first, i know the elven archer figure was based on you. i am curious as to whether the smaller, 5" elven warrior is also based on you. there seem to be resemblances betweenthe two figures. after lotr, are you still interested in acting or any sort of movie project? if so, what are you doing, or looking to do? what would be your ideal project to work on? do you feel that lotr will spark a new wave of fantasy movies, similar to how fantasy movies were big in the 80's (willow, labyrinth, legend, etc.) or do you perhaps feel that attempting to bring fantasy into the mainstream would be a disastrous flop, as the 2000 dungeons and dragons movie was? on that note, before doing lotr were you a big fan of fantasy? if so, what are some of your favorite books/authors, or movies?"


Ben's answer:
"Hey there, I don't know if the 5" figure would be based on me. It depends on whether LOTR sent them my photos to work off. I don't think they got anyone else to model for the figure so it is probably based on me.
I am still vaguely interested in acting and movies but not as a career. I'll probably work in short films for friends but I don't think I'll be seeking out more serious acting work. However, if I hear about another big fantasy/sci-fi being made near me I might investigate it :-) I think the best bit about working on LOTR were the costumes and props, much more interesting than a modern drama.
I hope it will prompt a fantasy revival. It is so hard to find good fantasy movies. Apart from the ones you mentioned (BTW. Willow was shot in NZ too) I'd add The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride and Wizards, by Ralf Bakshi, he also attempted LOTR but died before completing it. What he did do is interesting but not a complete movie. I think it has shown people that you can still make good Fantasy. The Harry Potter movies are a good complement it but it remains to be seen whether there will be a big resurgence.
And yes, I was into fantasy before LOTR. Although it is very hard to find _good_ fantasy. Apart from LOTR the only author who stands out in my mind is Terry Pratchett. I have read other authors who are supposed to be good but no one really stands out. It is easy to find good sci-fi, both for books and movies."

Andrew asks:
"hello Fereveldir/Ben
Does fereveldir hav a last name? did peter jackson tell u that u had a twin brother and a father in the movie? Did some of the refugees play as like wild men, and like orcs? Do u no who played Sharku? wut was ur favorite part that u did in the battle of helms deep? How come u weren't allowed to keep the props u got? were the blades real? See, wen i read the book and sasw the movie i got connected and fell in love with the elves. in helms deep wen the elves died i cried. were there any surving elves? Did Arwen show up in the battle of Helm's Deep? in helms deep was that the last of the Lothlorien elves other than the king and queen? do u no if they r going to show any mirkwood elves in battle with full gear? are u still going to be an extra in the return of the king? Im so sorry about asking all of these questions its just that i finaly get to an elf. This IS a dream come true. ur friend Andrew PS for halloween im making an elf suit and so far the process is going great!"


Ben's answer:
"As far as I know very few elves have more than one name, I wasn't even told I would have a name, or a brother, until the card came out! Yes, some of the refugees did play wildmen and orcs, the pool of extras had several regulars who did a bit of everything. Some of my friends went from wildman, refugee, warrior, orc, elf and more :-) I'm not sure who played Sharku, I don't think I ever met him, at least not while he was in costume.
My favorite part of the battle for Helms Deep was battering the door down. It was fun being on the battering ram team and being inside holding the door :-) The props belong to the studio who makes the film, also the props you use one day will need to be used by someone else the next day, so you can't just take them home with you :-) Most of the blades were not real, but to get it right Weta first made a real, forged version of each of the swords in the movie, so there is a real one out there.
In the movie they never show any surviving elves, and I hear that the official word is that they all died. I think that some of them did survive and are making there way out of the world. Those elves were only a part of the armies of Lorien, the rest are back home defending their borders, and, Arwen couldn't make it :-) I don't think we'll see many mirkwood elves.
Yep, I am an extra in ROTK, I don't know if you'll be able to see me though, well have to wait and see. Good luck with the elf costume! are you going to do pointy ears too? "

Kiersten asks:
"Kiersten is my name, and what's it like having to wear all the equaptment? it seems to be pretty complicated. and the really awsome thing is my birthday is on January 14, 1991. anyways, you look so cute! i'm sorry, i just think elves are so cute. :-) "


Ben's answer:
"Yep, the gear is very complicated. Thankfully there is a team of Weta technicians there to dress you and put everything in its place. Once you've been doing it for a few months it gets pretty easy. It feels really good to wear the suits, you really feel like an elf."

Michelle asks:
"Hi Ben How long have you been acting and will you make it your career?"


Ben's answer:
"I've been acting on and off for 15 or 16 years now, I do like it but I don't think I will make a career out of it. I do hope I'll ba able to pick up the odd bit of work though."

Andrea asks:
"I was wondering if you do autographs. If i sent a picture could you autograph it and return it? *hugz* you may not say anything , but your a cool elf!"


Ben's answer:
"Sorry, I'm not doing autographs, right now it would be pretty complicated :-)"



Questions & Answers-- 9-27-03

Kathleen asks:
"Dear strawberry blonde Ben, do you know what the other actors think about that freaky elf fans? I just freak out when people keep talking about that nice dance I did a few months ago, I'm not the best dancer in class talk about them. And then they ask me to get on stage more often so I'll get used to it yeah right. How do can you enjoy that, or is it just shy little me? Thanks for answering my stupid questions."


Ben's answer:
"It used to bother me a bit, I did a little acting at school. You do get used to it, if people remember the good thing you did, take it as a compliment and enjoy it. Just smile and say thanks. I know some other elves that love the attention and try hard to get noticed (and it works!) and others who have acquired obsessive fans who keep calling and sending letters. I think that's going a bit far. So far I've been lucky, all my fans seem like great people :-)"

Bientje asks:
"Hi ben, How are ya? I'm great and I wanted to ask you if there are pics of you when you are a orc or uruk hai or something else you' ve played. I also wanted to ask if you have any contact with the other actors of the lotr. And who is your favorite character of the lotr and actor also of the lotr. I also wanted to say that i think you really rock and I also write on everything were i can write on: Ben rocks. Luv ya much greetings (PS i really think it is funny that you always make smileys in the pieces of text you write :-) )"


Ben's answer:
"I'm doing great thank you very much :-) Unfortunately I don't know about and pics of me as an Orc or Uruk. If I'm lucky there may be one of me as a Rohan somewhere. The problem with being an Orc or Uruk is that you wear a mask, I'm sure you can see me a few times but I have no Idea which one would be me. I can point to the area I was in but no more than that. I did get to hang out with the actors a bit, not as much as some people. I think my favorite character would be either Boromir, he's such a beautifully flawed human, or Gandalf, 'cos he rocks! As for actors I'd say Gollum, I reckon he can act circles around the rest of 'em. Partly that's professional pride but I think he gave a great performance. As for people, John Reese Davies was the most fun to be on set with. I'm glad you like my writing style, I'll end with a :-)"

Michelle asks:
"Hiya Fereveldir i really love the lord of the rings and you and Ferevellon are my favourite elves along with a few other elves including Haldir Orophin Rumil Anithrandir Elviondel Andril Nilfalath Anendel Tinion and the rest of the Lothlorien wood elves i was wondering Who is yours and Ferevellon's father is it Thingalad or Thrandronen? You are so beautiful Fereveldir and so is Ferevellon and so is Haldir and the other Lothlorien wood elves."


Ben's answer:
"According to the cards Thandronen is my father. He was played by a different Ben, we met on Rings and have worked on a short film (Echoes, go see it if it gets out of NZ) together since then. And thank you for the compliments :-)"



Questions & Answers-- 7-24-03

Anonymous asks:
"Hi Ben. I've read one of the questions on here and it says you are not too sure about giving out an address so people could have your autograph. I was just wondering if you did have an address where I could send something like a picture for you to sign. I think you played Fereveldir very well (you looked good at Helms Deep) You said that you played all different characters, but where were you at the end, because you played a dead elf, but were you with the riders when they came or were you still dead?"


Ben's answer:
"I haven't got an address sorted for people to send things for me to sign, I'll let you know when I have got somthing sorted though.
I'm glad you liked my performance :-) I don't know what happened to Fereveldir, You never see his dead body but most of the elves were supposed to die at Helms Deep. When the riders charged out of the keep I was playing one of the Uruk-Hai trying to kill 'em ;-)"

Jeff asks:
"Hello, a question about the armor in the second movie, was it the same as in the first where its all like hard rubber, not metal. And were able to keep your armor and weapons? Thanks."


Ben's answer:
"Yup, the second movie armor was similar to the first movie, in thar it wasn't metal. Having it all made of metal would have cost far too much and would have been even less comfortable than the plastic :-)
We weren't allowed to keep anything. All the props are owned by New Line and they aren't keen to give them away. Also, as an extra you wera the armor you are given that day, you don't have a set of armor that is yours (although the did try to do that for a while)."

Jacobine asks:
"Hi Ben I'm Jacobine and I reallly really really like the lotr and everyone of it. But my question is. How was it to play in the movie lotr and how did you get in the movie? And I wanted to ask you how New sealand is because I think it is so beautifull that i want to go to New sealand when I'm done with my school. I also wanted to say that I think you're very cool and you are with Legolas and Haldir my three great elfs. (I'm sorry if my english isn't so good but I'm from holland you know)."


Ben's answer:
"Good to hear from you, working on LOTR was a great experience. The extras are an excellent bunch of people. It was also really good to see how the movie was made from so many different perspectives, on set as an extra and behind the scenes at Weta. The best thing about working on set (after the food and the people) is playing with all the really cool props :-) I got into it by being in the right place at the right time and looking like what they wanted, just luck really.
New Zealand is a great place, I've travelled around it and still havn't seen everything I want to. It's a great place to travel, you really should come here for a holiday :-)"



Questions & Answers-- 6-11-03

Lena asks:
"Hi Ben!!! Love your work! My name is Lena, and I REALLY want to be an actress. Do you have any good tips you could pass on to me??? It would be most appreciated. ; ) Thanks!"


Ben's answer:
"Acting lessons are a good start, but not essential :-) It is very important not to be shy, be willing to give it a go.
As for getting a career started, the best bit of advice is to have friends in the industry, if you know the directors and casting agents they'll put you up for work. Unfortunately most people need a first job so they can make friends. The next best bit of advice is to be in the right place at the right time. Find out what is happening where then turn up and ask for a job."

Kiku asks:
"Dear Ben, I was just wondering why in the scene when Sauron is destroyed, you are the only elf without a helmet on? Also, do you have any pets?
Thank you sooo much for answering all our annoying questions (I imagine it gets pretty tedious).
P.S. I think that you are way better than Figwit :-P "


Ben's answer:
"Well, I'm not the only one without a helmet. The elf in front of me (Jason Secto, Orophin) is also helmetless.
Have a look at the pictures here:
http://www.theargonath.cc/cast/secto/secto.html
I'd guess it got knocked off during the battle, these things happen. But really it was because Peter Jackson thought it would be good to see hair flying in the explosion, with fluttering banners in the background to complement it.
And no, no pets at the moment, though the flat I'm living in does have a cat.
Ha, I knew I'd be better than figwit ;-)"

Sandra asks:
"Dear Ben, do you have any brothers or sisters? I'm so glad that my favorite Elf is willing to asnwer questions. Thanks."


Ben's answer:
"I've got one younger brother, he hasn't had much to do with the LOTR movies. I'm more than happy to answer questions :-)"



Questions & Answers-- 4-27-03

Halla asks:
"Hi, there Ben Britton. My name is Halla Asad Said. I'm 15 years old. I'm from st. Croix, U.S.V.I. I have some questions that i would like to address to you Ben Britton. First wuestion is did you enjoy acting as all the people you did? I've read on the website http://www.theargonath.cc that you have a girlfriend is that true? If it is can you please tell me her name? ooh... **and don't tell me it's personal and none of my business**. For a compliment I really you are totally cute in the photo of you on the left-bottom corner of the action figure box. You just have this face that when my do day goes bad all I have to do is look at a photo of you and everything turns upsideown."


Ben's answer:
"Hi there, Yes, I did enjoy all the acting. It was really fun being able to change character and play something completely different, never a dull moment :-) It was interesting to see how different everyone behaved when we changed parts. A group of extras dressed as elves would behave very differently to the same group dressed as Uruk-Hai.
And yes it's true, I do have a girlfriend, Rowena :-)"

Katie asks:
"Ben, What was it like having to wear all that armor and weapons and fighting in a huge bloody, gorey battle scene? And also, how many different people have you played other than Fereveldir?? Thanks!"


Ben's answer:
"The battles and fighting were a lot of fun. I did a lot of running around in the background as well as the occasional one-on-one fight with another extra. The elf blades were excellent swords to work with. It wasn't so fun to play a dead body, but I did my share of that too...
I can't say how many other people I played, when we were there as extras we were never given the names of our characters. I can only say how many races I played."

Cleo asks:
"What do you think of the various websites/fanlistings that have sprung up online dedicated to yourself or the elf you played? Did you ever expect so much attention? Thanks."


Ben's answer:
"I certainly didn't expect this much attention! It's rather fun, my goal is to become more famous than figwit :-)"

Janette asks:
"Hi Ben! I really love your official site, and I think it so cool that you are so involved and willing to answer all our questions. :) I have a couple if that's ok. First, what color are your eyes?? (I can't really tell from the pictures) And I was wondering if you got to be good friends with any of the other Elf extras?? Thanks!"


Ben's answer:
"Hmm, eye colour, blue/gray depending on what I'm wearing and what the day is like. Different people see different colors.
Yep, while I was working as an extra I got to be friend with lots of the other extras, I'm still in touch with several of them. One of my friends, Alex (see http://www.theargonath.cc/erethon/), I knew from before LOTR."



Questions & Answers-- 4-19-03

Kimberly asks:
"Dear Mr. Britton, I absolutely love Fereveldir! He and Ferevellon are two of my most favourite elves. I was wondering if you sign autographs [I would really love to have one ; ) ]. If so, where could I send a picture for you to sign? Thank you so much."


Ben's answer:
"Hi there, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed my performance :-) I wouldn't mind signing autographs, but I'm not keen on putting my address out on the internet, I'll have to think about that one. I'll let you know when I work somthing out."

Hannah asks:
"Hey, great site! I had a q. for Ben...I mean Fereveldir. Which name do you like better? Oh, anyway; So, was it cool to use the bow and stuff? The work they put into it is so cool!:) You did such a good job! (And yes, I did see you before I found out your name. Heck, I even have your action figure:)) Okay, I'm blabbing! Last q's., What are your hobbies? Was the outfit light, heavy, or inbetween (any outfits you wore)? And finally, Aren't you glad that people tried hard enough to find out who you are so they could tell all elf-freaks, like me, who you are? I am!"


Ben's answer:
"Ben, Fereveldir, That Guy, whatever name works is fine :-) Mmmm, yes the bows, the guys at Weta Workshop put a lot of effort into them. Even tho they were just props you could still fire a rubber arrow up to twenty meters with one of them :-) All the props were great, the detail in them was just amazing. If you want to get a good idea what it was like the action figure is great. The detail to it is amazing. The elf costume wasn't too heavy, it was just really awkward to move around in. It was nearly impossible to bend at the waist or even sit down. But it looked great, and that's what matters :-)
Hobbies... Hmm, I like computers, for games and programming. I'm also into photography, not seriously, just onthe weekends and stuff. I also do fire dancing, I help out a a local juggling club and take part in street parades every now and then. I mainly do long staff and poi, I'm trying to learn double long staff but there aren't many people around Wellington who are good enough to teach me :-( I make all my own fire toys :-)"

Kathleen asks:
"I was wondering that Ben enjoyed the training of the orcs, I saw it on the DVD and it looked like it was very hard. But he did an excellent job and I enjoyed the film, he is one of my favourite elves and is very handsome!"


Ben's answer:
"Hi, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the film :-) The orc training was hard work but it was fun. I remember spending hours marching back and forth in from of helms deep trying to get everyone in step."

Skybly asks:
"Hey Ben, I thought you looked fantastic as Fereveldir. It was disappointing that you were not credited with the cast. However, my friends and I cheer when we see your name in the Weta Digital credits :) I'm a fledgling programmer, so I was wondering what kind of work you did for Weta as Production Engineer and System Coder? Also, I *have* to know - how does it feel to have your own action figure and fansite? ;) Thanks! :)"


Ben's answer:
"Getting a cast credit would have been nice, but not very practical. There were a huge number of extras involved in the film, if every one of them had been credited the credits would have taken almost as long as the film! As it was the credits were very inclusive, especially if you compare LOTR to other hollywood movies.
At Weta I did a lot of workflow type coding, trying to make it easier for other people to do their jobs. I also did quite a bit of work on the intranet at Weta.
Having my own action figure feels odd, it's strange to see myself sitting in shop windows and knowing that friends of mine have little Ben dolls to play with. The strangest part is thinking that there are thousands of little mes all over the world. I know that in a few years I'll start turning up in garage sales missing limbs and things, it's all quite disturbing really."



Questions & Answers-- 3-15-03

Amanda asks:
"I was just wondering if you ever thought of coming to Minnesota...maybe you could act there? You're my favorite elf!! :D"


Ben's answer:
"I don't have any plans to travel in the US in the near future, but if I do I'll let you know :-)"

Nathan asks:
"Hey Ben, i'm a big fan of yours because you looked very good as a soldier in the two Lord of the Rings films. I liked you at the Prologue of the Fellowship of the Ring. I was wondering, did they ask you if they could make a Lord of the Rings action figure of Fereveldir? And I was also wondering if they took any model pictures of you as Fereveldir? Did you know that i've been searching a year now for a cool model picture of you? It would be really cool if you could answer these questions Ben, you know, since your awesome and all! THANKS"


Ben's answer:
"When they called me up for the photo shoot for the action figure I was just a 'generic elf', my character didn't have a name. They took a whole lot of photos so that the people making the figures would be able to get it right. They did an excellent job, the figure is incredibly accurate, right down to the small details. I don't think they took any photos to use for publicity. The only photo from that bunch I've seen since is the one on the box."

Valerie & Jackie ask:
"dear Ben, hello our names are Valerie and Jackie. We are dedicated lord of the rings fans and we envy you enormously for being able to help out with the production because we are only 13 now! *sulk* anyways, what was it like being around all those famous actors and which ones were you most nervous around? What was your favorite part of the orginal books? And was it fun filming a huge bloody gorey battle sequence? *sorry about the adjectives, we got over excited* thanks again for taking the time to answer our stupid questions!"


Ben's answer:
"I was really glad to be able to help making the films, in as many ways as I did. I didn't get nervous around the actors, when we were on set everyone had a job to do and an action to take. There was no time to be nervous, you just had to remember your mark and do the job.I think my favourite part in the books were the Ents, I like the idea of sentient, active trees. I imagine them being a more serious than they were portrayed in the movie. I also like the way Tolkien put so much effort into describing the foods :-)The active battle scenes were the most fun to do. It was great when everyone was yelling, running around and throwing things :-) It wasn't so fun when I got to be a corpse, lying over a rock in a pool of my own blood. The blood would stick my hair to the helmet and was a real pain to wash out."

Kazren asks:
"Jørn, who played the 'extra' Elf Rumil, says he also played a Rohan soldier and an orc. Did you have more than one role as an extra? And as an Elf, do you go on the Paths of the Dead? Thank you"


Ben's answer:
"Yup, I played most of the races at one point or another, I think the full list is: elf, rohan, gondorian, orc, Uruk-Hai and refugee. I dunno about the paths of the dead, I guess we'll find out by the end of the year ;-)"

Lacey asks:
"Hiya Ben, I've heard that your character in LOTR was Thranduil, Legolas's father. Is that true? Or is Fereveldir a totally different character? Bye the way, I love your acting! "


Ben's answer:
"Thanks for that :-) My character didn't have a name until the Decipher card came out with the name Fereveldir. Before that I heard that some people thought I was Thranduil, it was just a case of mistaken identity :-) My character was not Thranduil."



Questions & Answers-- 2-19-03

Naomi asks:
"Ben, did you ever get to meet the other actors in the LOTR film like Orlando and Viggo? Was the battle scenes really hard to do?"


Ben's answer:
"Yep, I did meet most of the other actors, although I never got to know any of them. Viggo was really good to work with, he was extremely professional on set and a really nice guy off set. After a hard week he would sometimes buy beer for the extras :-)
The battle scenes were physically hard, mostly they involved a lot of running in full costume, for most of the fight scenes extras were told to run across the set avoiding the stunt men and 'dead' people. You could tell the experienced extras from the newbies. Newbies would be standing back waiting for an opening while the experienced people were half way out :-) The hardest bits were standing in formation. We would be standing in the same position for hours, a break for lunch then back to the same position for another 4 hours before we went home."

Michelle asks:
"Hello Ben, I just want to say that I am a huge fan! I am siked to have this opportunity to get to communicate with you.(Thanx Heather & Ben) I was actually wondering if the blonde in the movie was your true hair color? If not what color is it? I will be checking back on your website daily!"


Ben's answer:
"Umm, yes, pretty much.
The first time they called me up (for the first day of filming) they didn't think my hair was blonde enough so they bleached it. However, after they had shot the scene Peter decided that he didn't like the look of these bleached blonde elves. They reshot the scene later without me. The next time they called me up they dyed my hair back to what it looked like before. I can't tell where the dye ends and the regrowth starts so they did a pretty good job of matching colours."

Shelly asks:
"Fereveldir, I was just wondering if you have also read "The Silmarillion" and if you learned any Elvish during the filming of the movie? You look exactly like I've always pictured the Elves. Thank you."


Ben's answer:
"Yes, I had read The Silmarillion before I was involved with the movies. I didn't learn much elvish at all. As extras we were not really involved with any of the dialog. However, I do have 'Elbereth le linnathon' as the start up message on my cell phone ;-)"



Questions & Answers-- 1-28-03

Linda asks:
"Hi, This is Linda. I am wondering how Ben ended up as an elf. Production engineer and systems coder sounds like a computer job. Did they just come along and see him and decide he looked like an elf? Also, did he enjoy playing the part? I'm glad he did it, cause he is really nice to look at when I check the website every day. Thanks."


Ben's answer:
"I started out as an elf, right from the first day of filming (apparently Peter Jackson pointed me out as a good example of an elf). I carried on working as an extra for the first half of 2000. In June there was a break in filming and I heard of a job going at Weta Digital. Extras are right at the bottom of the pecking order on set, most extras kept trying to get work as crew, so I applied straight away. I started out as a Render Wrangler and moved on from there."

Corrina asks:
"hi. i was just curious as to what you felt about being an extra in such a wonderful movie. any wonderful experiences you enjoyed? and what kind of music do you enjoy listening to? thank you."


Ben's answer:
"I've liked the books for a long time and really wanted to be part of it as soon as I heard LOTR was going to be filmed in New Zealand. When I started I was really excited and happy to be there, after a while the novelty wore off but it was still so much fun (and the food was excellent!). The regular extras were a great crowd, most of the 'work' we did involved waiting for somthing, so we spent the time chatting, playing games and whatever.My music taste? Hmm... I listen to a lot of stuff, generally I think my favorite genres would be new Celtic (Afrocelt Sound System) and Grunge, but that's definately not all I listen to."

Annúnlondiel asks:
"I have a question for Ben...Are you going to be in any more films, or do you plan to pursue acting? I think you are the most beautiful of all the Quendi, and would love another opportunity to see your fair elvish face! :-)"


Ben's answer:
"I really have no idea, I'll have to see what life throws at me. I like acting, but I don't think I'll ever make it my career. If the oportunity comes up I'm sure I'll do more work in film. Thank you for your compliments, you are most kind :-)"



Thanks SO much to Ben for taking the time to answer these questions!