Evangeline Lilly has been a massive fan of The Hobbit since she was a young girl. The prospect of of playing an elf heroine for the big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel has her very excited, even if some of her fans aren’t convinced.
Lilly spoke to reporters at a Los Angeles press conference recently, when she said she had wanted to speak with Peter Jackson, the director of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, about playing a role in the second installment of the film.
She said: “The sylvan elves were my favorite characters in the book and it would be a dream come true to play one. I jumped at the opportunity and picked up the phone very quickly.”
Evangeline Lilly went on to speak at length about how important she thinks it is to have a female in the heroine role:
“And then they said, ‘Your character is not in the book.’ And I took great pause. As a great fan of Tolkien, I gulped and went: ‘What? Everyone’s going to hate me.’ And it didn’t take long for them to completely convince me that it was the right thing to do and it was a good idea.
I think, in his defense, Tolkien was writing in 1937 and the world is a different place today. I keep repeatedly telling people, ‘In this day and age, to put nine hours of cinema in the theaters for young girls to go and watch and not have one female character is subliminally telling them you don’t count, you’re not important and you’re not pivotal to story.’
And I just think [the filmmakers] were very brave and very right in saying, ‘We won’t do that to the young female audience, who will come watch our films.’ And not just the young female audience, but even women of my own age. I think it is time that we stop making stories that are only about men, especially only about heroic men, and I love that they made Tauriel a hero.”
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has already enjoyed great success at the box office and has already earned over $500 million since it premiered. The third film in the series, There and Back Again, which also features Evangeline Lilly, is due for release in December of this year.