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Sauron Speaks - Interview with Sala Baker

"The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy's Bad Guy

By

Sala Baker

Sala Baker at the World Premiere of New Line Cinema's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Photo By Rebecca Murray
New Zealander Sala Baker is an imposing man in person, but unlike the terrifying bad guy he plays in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Baker is friendly and easy-going.

I caught up with Sala Baker at the premiere of another New Line Cinema movie, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and got to toss out a few questions about what fans can expect from the final film of the trilogy:

How is the third movie going to blow the first two "Lord of the Rings" movies out of the water?
You’re going to cry your eyes out - take lots of tissues. It’s a sad film, it’s the end of Frodo and Sam and their journey, and Aragorn with him being the king and me trying to take over the world. I just want my ring back so I can take over (laughing). It’s going to be really fun. There’s some amazing action sequences, really huge battle scenes. Helms Deep is 10,000 strong whereas Minas Tirith is 250,000 strong. It’s like a little snippet of what’s about to come. It’s what’s about to follow. It’s going to be crazy.

What was the toughest stunt you had to do?
Wow. There was a sequence of high falls that we had. There were 28 of us stunt men and women falling within two seconds of each other. You had to hit these mats and then move. It was just the timing of it because you had no [peripheral vision]. It was like, “What the hell! How am I supposed to do this?” (Laughing) As soon as you turn over, you can’t see anything. It was like, “Please land right. I don’t want to land on someone. I better get up quickly before someone lands on me.” It was crazy. It was probably the most [harrowing stunt] because I never knew what was going to happen. That was probably one of the craziest things.

Is it fun to be a bad guy?
It was great. The good guys get the women, I’ll get there one day of course, but the bad guys have so much fun. You die but you have so much fun doing it. It’s like throwing yourself around and fighting the good guys – and obviously losing to the good guys – but it’s a lot more fun. That was my main [reason] for doing it.

What was the atmosphere like on the set? Did you ever have any down time or was it always like go, go, go?
There was down time. There was the whole “hurry up and wait” sequence. Those times we would bond the most with Dom [Monaghan] and Billy [Boyd] and Elijah [Wood] and all the cast and all the crew, the director and stuff. It was just crazy. There were always times when you weren’t on screen. You’d get up to make-up for eight hours, wait, and then you’d shoot for 20 minutes and you’d wrap – but that’s great. The down time is the best time to relax and get to meet the people who are behind the camera or in front of the camera, or whatever.

What do you think about Peter Jackson doing “The Hobbit?” That’s a rumor that’s all over the Internet.
You know, I wouldn’t. I don’t think so. He’s got other things in front of him at the moment.

What’s up next for you?
Really just the publicity at the moment for “Return of the King” until it comes out. I’ve got a couple of scripts that I’m reading at the moment that are pretty cool, I quite like. I’m going to sort of look into them and see what happens late next year.

Are you interested in sticking with the action genre?
I'd like to do comedy. You know, another guy who I’ve sort of looked up to is The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. Probably because he’s like me, Polynesian, he’s got the same sort of build; he’s a little bit taller. I want to do comedy at the moment, comedy, and some action stuff and martial arts. I want to do martial arts as well.

I have to admit it's going to be sad when the trilogy is over.
(Laughing) It’s not over. There’s the DVDs, extended DVDS, boxed sets, and all that stuff (laughing).

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