The Tolkien Professor podcast is a series of lectures, discussions, and seminars on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien by Corey Olsen, Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland. Find me on Facebook at "The Tolkien Professor," on Twitter at @tolkienprof, or at my website at www.tolkienprofessor.com. I have also begun a grand new venture: the Mythgard Institute, offering courses on Tolkien studies for credit at the MA level, or just for fun! Join us at www.mythgard.org.
March 13th, 2016
Episode 307 of 327 episodes
Today's discussion 1) today's discussion is purely theoretical. Cast members are "every proper noun" in the Valar Quenta Listeners will do actual nominations/elections for actors Our discussion will focus on concepts 2) casting call Iluvatar (voice) Male Distinctive, articulate What accent? English (Oxford)? Nordic? We couldn't do an American accent, it would sound weird even for Americans. South African? The next "James Earl Jones" -type voice? Maybe more like a newscaster's voice? Melkor Probably the most crucial casting (not the protagonist, but certainly the main character) Is he hot? The physical manifestation is the attitude of the Vala about him/herself. He would think very highly of himself, he could very well be the most attractive male on the show Dark hair? Ginger? (fiery red hair?) Will we recast him when he becomes more evil/physically imposing? Costuming, special effects, makeup can deal with that We can deal with height issues next season - this is an all Ainur cast right now. Makeup can depict Melkor's transformation It shouldn't be obvious that Melkor's the bad guy. The audience should get attached to him. Physically powerful/strong broad shoulders Pale skin, with the ability to go paler (more cadaverous) Intimidating Mairon He should be cute, so that when he turns it's more sad. Boyish Can be disturbing when he returns to boyishness when he's Annatar Winsome, persuasive We have 2 different fall processes, would be good to distinguish between Melkor (dark) and Mairon (red haired) Manwë Needs to be older but not ancient. All about wisdom and gravitas. Worthy of respect Doesn't need to be attractive (Dos Equis guy?) Native American profile Grey, not white Or perhaps like a monk? Maybe not the Patrick Stewart perfect dome, but close cropped, goes against the stereotypic Varda Physical attractiveness is key. Beautiful but not in a starlet way Mature (a younger Helen Mirren) Can't look like "Manwë's trophy wife" / May/December / creepy Dark hair with streaks of silver (starlit night) Piercing eyes Ulmo Trying to somewhat reject Neptune archetype Doesn't have to be gorgeous What kind of build? He can't really be wispy, can he? Needs to have long hair Asian/Pacific Islander/African Has to look awesome rising up out of the sea Sturdy and broad Dreadlocks? Shorter beard Conan-type Aulë Aggressively not handsome Big featured, almost giantish Ruddy (almost roseacea) from the furnace Russian/Slavic Most of these Valar should be mature (40's) as they convey wisdom Yavanna Tree-ish: tall, willowy (tallest of the women, taller than many of the men) West African Gaia/earth mother Long hair (natural looking) Nienna Not gorgeous (she doesn't have to be unattractive, but she doesn't have to be gorgeous) She should not be one that draws the eye We have no pre existing archetype for her Veil!!! Very evocative, soulful, sad eyes She could unveil herself at certain moments Medium in all things. Pale skin, somewhat physically like Melkor in color Tulkas The Rock!! Burly, very muscular, wrestler's build Good laugh Exuberant, grand gestures Loud voice Younger than the other Valar, more boyish Nessa Delicate ballerina Among the youngest looking Graceful and athletic Tan if not darker Asian or Latina? Oromë Tall, imposing on horseback Lean and gruff Buddy comedy with The Rock Blond and Nordic (to look like the Rohirrim) Vana Youngest, very *pretty* 17-18 yr old Could look like Yavanna to a point (darker skin) Flowery Mandos Once said that he should be gorgeous...but more like a "normal guy" as opposed to "The King of the Underworld" but still have some gravitas Arresting voice "quiet wise martial arts" look Asian? Japanese Vairë She never speaks - the weavings tell the prophecy. She and Mandos are a team, he's the one who speaks Cold, intimidating, mean stare, intense More mature (not ancient) Lorien Monk-like / Dalai Lama spirit/voice Restful/healing place/dreams Gorgeous Asian (literally dreamy) Brother to Mandos Este Very beautiful (to match Lorien) Perhaps Asian Sleepily peaceful Ossë Wild. Hair everywhere Thin and whiplike Matted long hair and beard Waif, untrustworthy appearance Manic Uinen Longest hair in the cast Gymnast/martial artist build, athletic. When swimming around, her hair is long and wild so she looks more wild than Ossë, but she doesn't look unkempt the way he does Green hair (seaweed), Asian type hair Melian Very beautiful and a fabulous voice. A singer if at all possible. Raven haired...maybe Asian? Italian / Mediterranean / gypsy Grey eyes Olorin Not really young The Maiar might look younger...might we cast some Maiar as children? Short? Curumo Concerned with strategy Tall and thin Cunning, formal stuffy Ungoliant Morticia Addams Femme fatale, unsettlingly attractive Eonwë Young, strapping Slender but broad shouldered 18 Will be most knight like Look a bit like Manwë Ilmare Handmaiden to varda Echoes varda to some extent Young Same hair but different skin? Gothmog Wings Classically beautiful Angelic Blond / blue eyed Estel 10 year old boy, dark hair, serious expression Grey eyes Gilraen Early 30’s Physical resemblance Elrond (not Hugo Weaving) Kind as Christmas Departing from Jackson's harp-playing vegetarians, departing from grumpy Elrond Elrond may resemble Aragorn (distant relation) Announcements 1) Forum for nominations ONLY 3 pics Post IMDB page http://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?forums/season-1-nominations.38/ There's a sticky post at the top that everyone should read before posting nominations This is for nomination only. Use the Season 1 Casting forum for discussion. Questions for next time: March 25 Visuals Buildings and sets Costuming and makeup Major characters to discuss costuming, makeup, visual effects The session after will review the casting after voting, and music (April 8) The session after that will be episode outlines (April 22)