THE HOBBIT: Billy Connolly On Playing 'Dain Ironfoot'; Finds Tolkien "Unreadable"

THE HOBBIT: Billy Connolly On Playing 'Dain Ironfoot'; Finds Tolkien "Unreadable"

In a recent interview, the Scottish actor/comedian revealed an interesting tidbit regarding his role as Dwarf Dain Ironfoot in Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies. Also, despite being a part of these adaptations, he reveals that he's not a fan of the source material..

Vulture caught up with outspoken comedian-turned-actor Billy Connolly at the premiere of his new movie Won't Back Down, and asked him about returning to New Zealand to finish shooting his scenes as Dain Ironfoot for - what is presumably - the second part of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. Connolly reveals that as Dain, he will be going into battle riding a very unusual steed. He also comments on the J.R.R Tolkien novels which Jackson's movies are based upon..

"Oh yes! I have to go back for that. I haven't done [the battle scenes] yet. I have to get battle-ready! I ride into war on a wild pig!.

I've never read The Hobbit. Never. Never read Lord of the Rings. I could never read Tolkien. I always found him unreadable … I didn't read [the books], and I normally don't like people who have! The people who love it, they're kind of scary. They talk all this gobbledygook and they think of it as the Holy Grail."

Connolly does go on to say the scripts for the movie are brilliant, and he thinks they are going to be great..of course. Check out the full interview for yourselves by clicking the link below.

Posted By:
Mark Cassidy
Member Since 11/9/2008
Filed Under "Fantasy" 9/27/2012 Source: Vulture
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
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Anthrax - 9/27/2012, 7:08 AM
lol I havent even read it yet either
SHO1138 - 9/27/2012, 7:08 AM
Wow! This could start a war.
Jollem - 9/27/2012, 7:09 AM
nowtheresaBATman - 9/27/2012, 7:16 AM
as do I... I tried to read it as a kid & spent more time looking at the cover artwork & eventually just gave up & put it down to read Cujo instead haHA

Billy is an awesome actor. He was great in The Last Samurai.

Facade - 9/27/2012, 7:16 AM
Well, that is a shame. To some, reading jokes on a bathroom wall is literature.
Ha1frican - 9/27/2012, 7:19 AM
Some people need to learn when to smile and argue... Smh
BSingerFoxMen - 9/27/2012, 7:19 AM
It's true!! Haha. I've tried reading it, and its full of gibberish words and nonsense. I made it through about a quarter of a book and gave up because I was bored to tears. The movies are better, but that's only because it has special effects. They were still a giant snooze up until the end of The Two Towers. IMHO they were NOT great movies, and can't hold a candle to Star Wars...even Return of the Jedi.
Ha1frican - 9/27/2012, 7:20 AM
Really autocorrect changing stfu to argue...
m73 - 9/27/2012, 7:24 AM
i couldn't even listen to the audiobooks, yet love the movies to bits
cwatts22 - 9/27/2012, 7:27 AM
LOTR was pretty damn hard to read, but The Hobbit was much easier, and one of my favorite books of all time!
pud333 - 9/27/2012, 7:28 AM
I've read LOTR before seeing the movies, but only because I felt a responsibility due to the legacy behind the literature to do so. I won't this time for The Hobbit. I agree with him, Tolkien is unreadable. It bored me to death. I think it took me months to read Return of the King and finally finished an hour before I saw the film in the lineup. I think the focus and narrative is completely off when he writes. The stuff you want to read about, he doesn't bother to go over, since it basically happens in the background, or the literary equivalent of a movie scene happening off screen.
thamorse - 9/27/2012, 7:31 AM
I was only able to read The Hobbit and the entire trilogy because I was bored out of my mind in Iraq. Towards the end, I was just reading it to get it over with.
Dedpool - 9/27/2012, 7:39 AM
The problem with LoTR is it reads like a history, not a story and you get bogged down with all the historical stuff. The Hobbit has too much poetry and songs for me. I had to stop and read a song every couple pages and it took me out of it.

I love what Tolkein came up with but I personally enjoy the films more.
RobbieDigital - 9/27/2012, 7:40 AM
He's lease he's honest....I never really buy into actors when they say they "Love the source material" and "Really respect" the character and all that crap......this doesn't mean the guy won't go to work everyday and kick ass as the character.....Bravo Connolly......Bravo
grampageezer - 9/27/2012, 7:43 AM
For Billy Connolly to admit he doesn't like people who read Tolkien may not have been the wisest thing to say to LOTR and Hobbit fans. It's hard to return the respect to someone who has none for the fansbase.

But I do notice, a lot of X and Y Genners also don't like reading Tolkien for the simple fact that it's too lengthy and they haven't the attention span that the older generation has. In today's fast-paced, quick cut video games and music video world they get bored easily. Another reason is the lack of profanity and sex they so desperately desire to see in all their media outlets. Tolkien is, well...too "G" rated for them. Like watching an old Disney movie, albeit with cooler villians.
Personally, as much as I love Jackson's Tolkiens movies, I'll take the books any day over them and to hell with Billy Connolly.
Orphix - 9/27/2012, 7:43 AM
Jeez! What type of thread is this???? Give reading LotR a good kicking thread??? Never thought I'd see the day...

[frick]! It isn't that difficult.

@nerdman81 "The movies are better, but that's only because it has special effects." I cannot believe you just typed that!! Seriously. SERIOUSLY!!!!!

And surely if you really are a 'nerdman' you should've at least read it like 10 times?

I'm with Terry Pratchett on LotR who said "If you're 15 years old and don't think Lord of the Rings is the best book ever written, you're mad. If you're 50 years old and still think it's the best book ever written, you really are mad!"
siggisuperman - 9/27/2012, 7:54 AM
It's perfectly normal. People just like to consume stories in different ways. My brother never reads but he watches all tv shows and movies he gets his hands on and has watched LOTR a billion times. Doesn't make him any less of a lotr fan, he's just part of that group of people who otherwise would have missed these great stories, just because they hadn't been told in his preferred medium.
Jollem - 9/27/2012, 7:55 AM
haven't read these, but i heard they are phenomenal, if not a bit difficult

valeriesghost - 9/27/2012, 7:55 AM
i find it interesting that he has never read any of the books but finds them unreadable. How does he come to that conclusion?
nowtheresaBATman - 9/27/2012, 8:07 AM
@tea green peas & Swedish technology? haHA

@nerdman81 Game of Thrones stomps Tolkien too.
StarkRaving - 9/27/2012, 8:08 AM
The Hobbit is a children's story that can be read in a few hours.The Lord of the Rings is a bit more mature story that is no more difficult to read than, say, a Tom Clancy novel. If someone finds LOTR difficult, I would guess that they probably don't do much reading!
GetsugaTensho22 - 9/27/2012, 8:19 AM
I Disliked reading the Hobbit. i never read the main trilogy, but i tried reading The Hobbit. Good God, [frick]ing bored me to death! i only made it to the chapter "Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire" and it wasted a good 5 pages just explaining the [frick]ing title.
nowtheresaBATman - 9/27/2012, 8:23 AM
@ckal That comment is awesome, that's going to be my new excuse for all authors I don't read lol
nowtheresaBATman - 9/27/2012, 8:24 AM
bangwagon? that sounds fun :)
thejon93rd - 9/27/2012, 8:31 AM
Billy Connolly is awesome. Although I don't think I'd ever sit and read through the LOTR books (a lot of people I know say that the movies are better, whether they're extended or not), I'd probably give The Hobbit a shot since it is one book... being cut into three movies, so I guess that it's an extremely long book then. No matter, I'll definitely be watching these spectacular looking films.
GodzillaKart - 9/27/2012, 8:45 AM
Although I don't share his opinion, I see where he is coming from.

The Hobbit is a fantastic tightly written fable, but as Tolkien's world started expanding as he wrote LOTR, his writing really started to ramble, and it reads like he never went back to edit it down.

That rambling style does serve to give the impression of a vast world that extends far beyond what we see in the story...but it can be tedious to read.
SpideyQuad - 9/27/2012, 8:45 AM

You have every right in the world to your own opinion. For that matter you have every right in the world to like crappy movies, and not appreciate great movies.

Unfortunately I have the right to think you foolish, LOL I kid, I kid
Jollem - 9/27/2012, 8:48 AM
@tea- how 'bout audio books? i've heard better gollums, tho

PapaEmeritus - 9/27/2012, 8:50 AM
LMAO! I like this guy! Haven't read them too. Tried, but not accomplished. Tolkien is too obsessive, even boring sometimes. I love the LOTR movie trilogy though.
Jollem - 9/27/2012, 8:56 AM
@tea- right. my friend does a way better impression
BSingerFoxMen - 9/27/2012, 8:59 AM
@Orphix- Really? I was saying that the effects actually gave some life to an extremely boring series! Since when is it a requirement to read Tolkien, and be bored out of my ever-loving mind, to be a nerd? Next you're gonna tell me (in pitch perfect Klingon no doubt) that I'm not a nerd because I don't know what the hell you're saying! How do you say "Get bent" in Orc?
Brady1138 - 9/27/2012, 8:59 AM
How can you say something's unreadable when you haven't read it? The only Tolkien book I found "unreadable" was The Silmarillion. Never made it through.
Jollem - 9/27/2012, 9:08 AM
@tea - lol. i wanna hear that. bale's batman voice sped-up chipmunks style. or auto-tuned
SwingsetKnight - 9/27/2012, 9:09 AM
Connolly seems to just have a problem with fantasy. I don't agree, but I can respect that not everyone shares my tastes. I don't mind people not liking Tolkien's work. What annoys me is when people say that it's "badly written" or "boring" and act as though this is an objective fact. LotR probably is tough for some people, particularly in this culture of fairly low attention-spans.

The Hobbit, though, is a children's book that still appears in grade-schoolers' book order forms (even despite the appalling decrease in literacy).

I have seen six-year-olds read it cover to cover. Six. Year. Olds. None of them had any problems with the pacing or the big words.

Draw your own conclusions.
FrankieDedo - 9/27/2012, 9:35 AM
@earzmundo DAFUQ??? have you ever read the silmarillion or the lord of the rings? those were masterpieces that no one, after tolkien , have topped. The work of mind behind those books is far from george martin's (but i respect him) Sorry but the Middle-earth's world set-up the modern fantasy imaginarium for a reason, an entire world and its history, languages, and people invented by one man, it's much much more than anything ever written in the last century (maybe dune could reach the complexity of the mythology but not the details of its world)

However i think that very few us people could understand it... the culture for books is very faded in the us read the hunger games guys.
Danbojohnj - 9/27/2012, 9:40 AM
Bollocks they are. Fire and Ice come behind the Wheel of Time and Hobbit/LOTR/etc.You wouldn't have either if it wasn't for the Hobbit.
Boogie138 - 9/27/2012, 10:06 AM
LOTR: yes it is a hard read and not for everyone. i never had issues reading it, but understand some do

Hobbit: fun and an simpler read but again understand not for everyone.

i get connolly and him stirring the pot is nothing new. great casting job and if a dude who is completely uninterested in the source material signed on cuz he dug the script, its is a good sign.

if you enjoy the movies cuz of special effects, i am glad you got something out of it. but as a fan of the books two towers while fun was a let down and return of the king was a mess too. i still dig the trilogy, but find my self having to watch the exteneded versions back to back to feel like i got the adaptation i wanted. or close enough ;)

hobbit as 3 films, not too sure how i feel about that until i see the finished prequel trilogy. but as most on this site i am sure will agree, any fan who see's an adap on a property they love will have to see it as a companion piece. have rarely seen a movie that better than the comic/book/cartoon/game/film its based on.
baldric33 - 9/27/2012, 10:16 AM
It's good to see all of the people on this site that I always considered to be illiterate buffoons come out and admit in this thread. Such a nice day.
Keldor - 9/27/2012, 10:44 AM
He is a terrible comedian. To call him funny would be a disgrace to the word funny.
Keldor - 9/27/2012, 10:46 AM
Forest Gump was a much better movie than Forest Gump the Novel by Winston Groom.
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