Martin Freeman Talks “The Hobbit”

Rising to fame on the original U.K. incarnation of “The Office” along with bit parts in films like “Ali G Indahouse” and “Love Actually,” Martin Freeman has quickly become one of Britain’s favourite comedy actors. Though numerous films followed such as Edgar Wright’s inspired “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and the underrated “Wild Target,” Freeman has really broken through over the past two years. First, there was landing the role of John Watson in the BBC’s incredible “Sherlock”. Now, he’s playing the lead part of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy.

It’s a daunting challenge for any actor, and the pressure was something Freeman certainly felt during his first week or two on the set shooting the scene in Gollum’s cave. He says: “You find out so much in those first few days. You just come along, in a way, and be open and ready and receptive. Bring whatever you’ve got to bring, but don’t bring too much because it’s not a done deal yet. It grew as the weeks and months went on, really.”

The nature of that scene, a “little chamber theatrical piece” as he describes it, consists of two characters on one set just talking. He found that a perfect first scene to play, especially considering his co-star: “I was working with Andy as Gollum, which in itself is interesting. Fascinating as a baptism of fire, but friendly fire because he’s so good. That character is so beloved and he knows that character, obviously, as well as anybody knows anything.”