Questions on LOTR book and Tolkien - Mr Lee will answer them

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Ask your questions here. To find out about the exact time Mr Lee will be live on the website, check the news page regularly. All questions will be selected on Saturday morning.

[NOTE: THIS EVENT IS OVER.]



Alfonso Casal's picture
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Mr. Lee,

I have always loved the literature of the fantastic -- Lovecraft's Dreamland fables, Dunsany's Pegana tales.  But, I have never read Tolkien.  Regarding Tolkien, I've always felt "This is something special, this I'm leaving for dessert."  Well, I've managed to put off dessert for quite a few years now; but, with the immanent release of the LORD OF THE RINGS film and your starring role therein, I've decided that the time has come for a nice big serving of dessert.  In fact, a trip to the local bookstore is on my list of things to do today.

Your love of Tolkien is well-known.  Thus, as one about to begin 'the journey,' as it were, I would like to know what is it that draws you to Tolkien's writing.  What is it about the worlds he creates that sets him above other fantasists and myth-makers?

Respectfully,



Josephina's picture
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Dear Mr Lee,

Cannot tell you how thrilled I was to read what a fan of JRR Tolkien`s you are and then to hear you had a part within these upcoming movies. Saruman of all parts ( had Sir Ian McKellen  not been cast as Gandalf I should dearly have loved to see you in that role ) . Saruman , the very part they seem to have altered quite a bit ironically enough within these movies, it is hard not to ask  movie related questions as to the book and author related ones ,to me these are so deep and so dear to the heart so to speak it is hard to come up with a justified question ,I  would so  love to meet you some day and just chat all day about these wonderful works .

Thus for the question I have for now , no doubt the most asked question, do you have a favorite memory concerning these books and JRR Tolkien himself, I understand you met him once , or saw him in a pub at any rate.

Of course I could sit here all day and think of more  countless questions, but , my mind is so overwhelmed with this chance, it totally falls blank. Thank you for doing this for us Tolkien fans and as said, hope some day to have the chance to meet with you in person  and Talk Tolkien. ( as many of your fans here do I am sure ). Josephina.  



Michael's picture
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Greetings Mr. Lee

Glad to hear you are a fan Of Tolkiens works as i am myself even though i only discovered the books last year.  As you have read the books many times do you sometimes ever skip to a certain scene or passage, if so what is it and why is it your favourite?

Yours Sincerly

Michael Reed



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Dear Mr.Lee,

I was reading in one of your former Interviews, that you was more or less speechless when you have met J.R.R.Tolkien
first and that you was captured totally by his presence.

Now I would like to know a bit more about the circumstances, which gave you the opportunity to meet him personal and what were your thoughts and feelings at this unforgettable moment ?

Warmest Regards,

Stefanie Meyer (Steffi)



Josephina's picture
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Dear Mr. Lee,

cannot resist at this chance.
several questions to follow:

Do you ever imagine Middle Earth as a real place ? if yes, where within that world would you desire to reside and why ?

If you could have chosen any part with in these movies, who or what would you have chosen to portray ?

This question is movie related but not needed to reveal anything within the movie. Presuming ,and so far it is so, Glorfindel is not the one to meet Aragorn and the Hobbits after Weather top, How does this change effect you, because I must confess, I am deeply heart broken and rather in shock that this is so. never thought in a life time this particular scene would be left out.

The same with Bombadil, how do you feel he is left out ?

Have you read any other JRR Tolkien  books, such as the Silmarillion,Lost Tales one and two, the history books of Middle Earth , Unfinnished tales and how do you experience these , I presume you must have a vast knowledge of these tales  after so many years of reading ?

Do you speak any elvish, dwarvish , or such languages  within these tales ? if yes , could you share some with us ?

Do you hope the Silmarillion will be filmed some day also ? if within your time, I hope it is so. What part would you hope for within that movie ? ( or rather,  those many many movies ) .

If you could ask us fans a question about these wonderful books, what would that be ?

best stop for now, hope these questions are fun to answer. look very forward to Saturday.

Josephina.



Greg Harris's picture
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Dear Mr.Lee,

How well do you think the fantasy wrighters of today compare with the works of Tolkien?
e.g. Would you put anyone in the same leauge as Tolkien?

Also what would you like to see happen if Tolkien was (Theoreticaly) to wright another chapter of LOTR?

Thankyou Mr.Lee



Charles Prepolec's picture
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Mr. Lee,
I find myself re-reading The Lord of the Rings ever other year or so, and each time I find myself enraptured with the pure simplicity of the characters and the nobility of their quest. Tolkien created not only the blueprint for Fantasy literature but also achieved the high watermark in the genre. It really is the most amazing thing as it combines various mythological elements but with a distinctly familiar and "British" tone. It is also something of a travelogue allowing the reader to visit the rich world of Middle-Earth. Along the way we encounter a wealth of characters including the corrupt wizard Saruman.

I've always viewed Saruman with a degree of pity as he is overshadowed and outmatched both by Sauron and later his own pupil Gandalf, yet he carries on in his own not-so-futile attempts in shifting the power-base of Middle-Earth. My question deals with the sort of denoument set back in the Shire in the chapter entitled "Scouring the Shire". What do you think of Tolkien's final handling of Saruman? It strikes me that his little attempt at petty revenge on the Hobbits, as Sharkey, is somewhat out of character for the fallen and defeated wizard, not to mention his death by the hand of Grima Wormtongue. Far better that he should have perished at Isengard. What is your opinion?

Looking forward to your answer and your appearance in what is sure to be amongst your greatest roles.
Best wishes,

__________________

Charles Prepolec www.sherlocknews.com



Joakim Lundberg's picture
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Dear Mr Lee
What is your impression on Saruman as a
person portrayed in the book?. I haven't
read the book but I saw the animated version
once and liked it. I will read them later on
as I discovered by watching the animated
version that Tolkiens text was very easy and
not very difficult to understand.

Yours and whit best wishes on your performance in the film.
Love Joakim



Colin Bushby's picture
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Mr Lee.
  A simple question, with not having read any of Tolkiens books, I have only seen the animated LOTR, which of Tolkiens books would you suggest as an introduction to his writing?
  I wish you all the success in your upcoming films.

  Thankyou.
  Colin



Bill's picture
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Dear Mr Lee,

I am glad to hear that you will be portraying Saruman In the upcoming films as I could not picture anyone better to play the role (I mean that in a nice way!)

But, given the choice of any of the characters, would Saruman have been your own first choice or would it have been maybe a lighter (less evil) role such as Gandalf?

Keep up the brilliant work,

Bill Dunn.



Vicky's picture
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Mr Lee,

I was curious, regarding the tale of TLOTR, do you feel that film will ever be able to capture the feel of the book?
Do you believe it is significant that they have chosen to produce the film now, yet the animation (which I thought was rather good) failed - is it possibly a generational thing - i.e. The younger generaltion - seeing the film, spurring them to the books?

I hope that this question makes sense

Yours sincerely

Vicky Power



Josephina's picture
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Dear Mr. Lee,

One more final question ere the big day comes. ( I hope to be here when these questions are being answered)

When you read the Lord Of the Rings now, do these books seem the same to you or did being in these movies have an effect upon your reading them ? like a different feel  before and after being in this production ?

And after so many reads of these wonderful books , do you still learn something new each time you read them . because that is what I find so fascsinating, every word almost has volume within JRR Tolkiens works, you can not skip one word or you will miss something very valuable.

thank you so much Mr. Lee for doing this for us fans. Hope you have a wonderful time answering our questions and all the very best of wishes for every day that follows this one.

with much gratitude.

Josephina

hope to see you back here some day.



Jesús's picture
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Dear Mr. Lee
Thank you very much for your answer on The Lord of the Rings movie question last month. If you don´t mind I´d like to ask you another question, this time regarding your character Saruman the White.
As you know, the main power of this Wizard was his hipnotic voice. I was wondering if it meant to you any callenge to portrait this power or the character in general, and if your previous knowledge on Tolkien´s work was useful to you or to the rest of the movie team while making this film.

Thank you very much

Jesús "Chacho" Iglesias
SPAIN



Josephina's picture
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Dear Mr. Lee,

Hope this question is not too late

is your contact address still

London Management
2-4 Noel street
London W1V 3RV

just heard that on one of your previous question/answer sessions and wanted to confirm it and see if it is correct.

Thank you again so much, looking forward to this live session. hope I can stay through the whole event.

eagerly and greatfully,

Josephina



Josephina's picture
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Which means I did not miss it afterall , Yipeeeeee.

Hope I can be here at the next attempt



Charles Prepolec's picture
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Due to a last minute commitment, resulting in Mr. Lee being  unavailable, the Live LOTR Q&A will be rescheduled for a later date. Check the News page for details when available.

(Edited by Charles at 2:25 pm on Feb. 25, 2001)

__________________

Charles Prepolec www.sherlocknews.com



Maria Silbermann's picture
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Dear Mr. Lee,
   I know that you do careful literary research to prepare for your characters. Did you have the opportunity to share your insights, and did your suggestions help to shape the final production?
   I was also wondering if you discovered anything surprising or unexpected in your studies, and how that helped to shape your performance.
   Thank you! You have been an inspiration to me for the past 25 years!
   Sincerely,
Maria A. Silbermann
Syracuse. New York



Neil's picture
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Hello Mr Lee

Many thanks for answering questions on a book we both love so much .... The Lord of the Rings !

Ever since noticing you were reading the LotR in some of your movies many years ago I thought you must be a Tolkien fan ! And I was right !

Now to my question:-

Do you have a view on the critical hostility by much of the literary / academic establishment in the UK  at the LotR's success in the national polls of the last few years as the  'Book of the Century ' . I am baffled by their response !

This hostility has been apparent ever since the LotR was published . The scholars Tom Shippey and Patrick Curry have offered stout defences as to why Tolkien is so great .... Shippey thinks their reaction has been comically bad ! I agree ! What is your view if you have one ?

Many Thanks

Neil Ince

Kent
ENGLAND

(Edited by Neil at 10:07 pm on Mar. 4, 2001)



KirkE's picture
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Mr. Lee,

Your web site is really awesome!
My question:  what was your approach to bringing Saruman to life?  Was it the book, or the director, or your normal acting procedure?  Do you take a Method approach, or are you (like your peer Lord Olivier) able to gouge out your eyes in Oedipus then come off stage and immediately say "Tea, anyone?"

Thanks in advance for one of the great performances of all time!



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Greetings Mr. Lee

Glad to hear you are a fan Of Tolkiens works as i am myself even though i only discovered the books last year.  As you have read the books many times do you sometimes ever skip to a certain scene or passage, if so what is it and why is it your favourite?

Yours Sincerly

Michael Reed

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Dear Mr. Lee,

cannot resist at this chance.  
several questions to follow:  

Do you ever imagine Middle Earth as a real place ? if yes, where within that world would you desire to reside and why ?

If you could have chosen any part with in these movies, who or what would you have chosen to portray ?

This question is movie related but not needed to reveal anything within the movie. Presuming ,and so far it is so, Glorfindel is not the one to meet Aragorn and the Hobbits after Weather top, How does this change effect you, because I must confess, I am deeply heart broken and rather in shock that this is so. never thought in a life time this particular scene would be left out.  

The same with Bombadil, how do you feel he is left out ?  

Have you read any other JRR Tolkien  books, such as the Silmarillion,Lost Tales one and two, the history books of Middle Earth , Unfinnished tales and how do you experience these , I presume you must have a vast knowledge of these tales  after so many years of reading ?

Do you speak any elvish, dwarvish , or such languages  within these tales ? if yes , could you share some with us ?

Do you hope the Silmarillion will be filmed some day also ? if within your time, I hope it is so. What part would you hope for within that movie ? ( or rather,  those many many movies ) .

If you could ask us fans a question about these wonderful books, what would that be ?

best stop for now, hope these questions are fun to answer. look very forward to Saturday.

Josephina.

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Dear Mr.Lee,

How well do you think the fantasy wrighters of today compare with the works of Tolkien?
e.g. Would you put anyone in the same leauge as Tolkien?

Also what would you like to see happen if Tolkien was (Theoreticaly) to wright another chapter of LOTR?

Thankyou Mr.Lee

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Mr. Lee,
I find myself re-reading [b]The Lord of the Rings
ever other year or so, and each time I find myself enraptured with the pure simplicity of the characters and the nobility of their quest. Tolkien created not only the blueprint for Fantasy literature but also achieved the high watermark in the genre. It really is the most amazing thing as it combines various mythological elements but with a distinctly familiar and "British" tone. It is also something of a travelogue allowing the reader to visit the rich world of Middle-Earth. Along the way we encounter a wealth of characters including the corrupt wizard Saruman.

I've always viewed Saruman with a degree of pity as he is overshadowed and outmatched both by Sauron and later his own pupil Gandalf, yet he carries on in his own not-so-futile attempts in shifting the power-base of Middle-Earth. My question deals with the sort of denoument set back in the Shire in the chapter entitled "Scouring the Shire". What do you think of Tolkien's final handling of Saruman? It strikes me that his little attempt at petty revenge on the Hobbits, as Sharkey, is somewhat out of character for the fallen and defeated wizard, not to mention his death by the hand of Grima Wormtongue. Far better that he should have perished at Isengard. What is your opinion?  

Looking forward to your answer and your appearance in what is sure to be amongst your greatest roles.
Best wishes,
[/b]

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Dear Mr Lee  
What is your impression on Saruman as a  
person portrayed in the book?. I haven't  
read the book but I saw the animated version
once and liked it. I will read them later on  
as I discovered by watching the animated  
version that Tolkiens text was very easy and  
not very difficult to understand.

Yours and whit best wishes on your performance in the film.
Love Joakim

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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  • Post Number: #25

Quote:

Mr Lee.
  A simple question, with not having read any of Tolkiens books, I have only seen the animated LOTR, which of Tolkiens books would you suggest as an introduction to his writing?
  I wish you all the success in your upcoming films.

  Thankyou.
  Colin

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Dear Mr Lee,

I am glad to hear that you will be portraying Saruman In the upcoming films as I could not picture anyone better to play the role (I mean that in a nice way!)

But, given the choice of any of the characters, would Saruman have been your own first choice or would it have been maybe a lighter (less evil) role such as Gandalf?

Keep up the brilliant work,

Bill Dunn.

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Mr Lee,

I was curious, regarding the tale of TLOTR, do you feel that film will ever be able to capture the feel of the book?  
Do you believe it is significant that they have chosen to produce the film now, yet the animation (which I thought was rather good) failed - is it possibly a generational thing - i.e. The younger generaltion - seeing the film, spurring them to the books?

I hope that this question makes sense

Yours sincerely  

Vicky Power

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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  • Post Number: #28

Quote:

Dear Mr. Lee,

One more final question ere the big day comes. ( I hope to be here when these questions are being answered)

When you read the Lord Of the Rings now, do these books seem the same to you or did being in these movies have an effect upon your reading them ? like a different feel  before and after being in this production ?  

And after so many reads of these wonderful books , do you still learn something new each time you read them . because that is what I find so fascsinating, every word almost has volume within JRR Tolkiens works, you can not skip one word or you will miss something very valuable.  

thank you so much Mr. Lee for doing this for us fans. Hope you have a wonderful time answering our questions and all the very best of wishes for every day that follows this one.  

with much gratitude.

Josephina

hope to see you back here some day.

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Dear Mr. Lee
Thank you very much for your answer on The Lord of the Rings movie question last month. If you don´t mind I´d like to ask you another question, this time regarding your character Saruman the White.
As you know, the main power of this Wizard was his hipnotic voice. I was wondering if it meant to you any callenge to portrait this power or the character in general, and if your previous knowledge on Tolkien´s work was useful to you or to the rest of the movie team while making this film.

Thank you very much

Jesús "Chacho" Iglesias
SPAIN

RM Answer in multimedia section



Christopher Lee's picture
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Quote:

Dear Mr. Lee,

Hope this question is not too late

is your contact address still

London Management
2-4 Noel street
London W1V 3RV

just heard that on one of your previous question/answer sessions and wanted to confirm it and see if it is correct.

Thank you again so much, looking forward to this live session. hope I can stay through the whole event.  

eagerly and greatfully,

Josephina

Correct.

www.christopherleeweb.com

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