The New Zealand Herald manages to scoop the rest of the world media in its exclusive interview with the ever-reclusive, ever-controversial Gollum:
The first thing you notice when meeting Gollum in the flesh (so to speak) is how much shorter he is in real life than he even appears on screen. Hobbits must tower over him. We're talking Kylie Minogue short. I reach down, we shake hands. The second thing you notice about Gollum is the smell of fish.
James Griffin manages to get past the fish aroma to press Gollum on the rumors that he and Rings director Peter Jackson have not always seen eye-to-bugeye on artistic issues. Gollum feels that Jackson has been too much in thrall to the JRR Tolkien books:
"We sees things differently, the Master and Gollum. Sometimes the way he treats us."
He trails off into a moody silence, looks away, eats a handful of sushi, sips his Mai Tai. I ask him what he means. He turns back, suddenly bug-eyed and venomous.
"He treats us like we not real, yes, like we are one of his precious special effects. But Gollum has feelings, Gollum hurts, but does the Master care? No, no he cares only for the Books. His precious precious."
Lest you think that Gollum is only interesting in his contribution to the Rings trilogy, Griffin discovers that Gollum has plans for his career after the release of the last Rings movie, The Return of the King. Gollum is apparently negotiating for the lead in a Don Knotts biopic, which sets off a case of the giggles for Griffin. This results in the following reaction from the 500-year-old entertainer:
"You think Gollum is only about the Rings? Like the rest, you think Gollum has no career after the Rings is dust? They all think that, laugh at us, hurt us with cruel words. But Gollum does not laugh, Gollum knows this is the beginning, yes. And his agent knows this too, yes, he says we are the new Yoda, the next Steve Buscemi, yes. You are like the Master, with your cruel laughter. Sting us, it does."
Speaking of Steve Buscemi, isn't it strange that you never see him and Gollum together? It's almost as if ... well, never mind. But the notion of Gollum playing Knotts isn't bad at all. I'd especially love to see him playing Ralph Furley from Three's Company:
JANET: What are you doing in my bedroom, Mr. Furley?
FURLEY: Must have the Precious ... Nasty, swishy Jack Tripper wants the Precious all to himself ... [grabs lingerie from doorknob] Give me the Precioussssss...
Well, maybe not. But read the rest of the interview so that you can get a good look at the mutant behind that evil screen persona. Heck, even Gandalf thought that Gollum would have a role to play later on.