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‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Crew Size Is So ‘Mind-Blowing’ It’s Someone’s Job to Study How Dust Moves

Morfydd Clark takes on the role of young Galadriel and says of the show, "I don’t think things could get much bigger than this.”

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, Cate Blanchett, 2001

“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Amazon’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings” television series is so massive it’s reportedly costing $1 billion to produce five seasons, and no one is more blown away by the scope of the production than actress Morfydd Clark. The Welsh performer and “Saint Maud” breakout is tackling the role of young Galadriel, famously played by Cate Blanchett in Peter Jackson’s original “Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” films. The scale of the “Rings” television series is so huge that Clark seems content never to return to such big-budget productions again.

“In many ways, I’m at my happiest and most fulfilled doing more intimate projects like ‘Saint Maud,’” Clark said in a recent interview with NME. “I feel like I’ve got my fix of the massive stuff by doing ‘Lord of the Rings.’ The amount of [people working] on this show is continually mind-blowing. One guy’s job consists just of seeing how dust reacts to footsteps and breath! That would never have even crossed my mind before. Other than something like Marvel, I don’t think things could get much bigger than this.”

Clark is back in production on “The Lord of the Rings'” series in New Zealand after filming was stopped earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The actress now finds herself quarantining with cast and crew in a bubble-like environment to ensure the set remains safe and healthy.

“It’s definitely strange going into lockdown with people that you have just started working with,” Clark said. “But I think we all treat each other like family. Sure, you’ll occasionally get annoyed by people, but you still like them… because you don’t have a choice. I think this time I’ve spent with the cast will be useful on set. But I obviously worry that the audience will be able to see in our eyes that certain sections were filmed pre-lockdown and some afterwards.”

Clark said she’s long been obsessed with “The Lord of the Rings” film franchise, which is why it delighted her when Elijah Wood told IndieWire earlier this year that he would be interested in appearing in the Amazon series as Frodo if the timeline made sense. “Those films are so iconic for me. I’ve actually been suppressing what I know about the Tolkien universe since I came out here,” Clark added. “I honestly just love the idea that Elijah Wood has said that because I am such a fan. I’d love everyone to do a cameo in it. It’s so nice to hear support for the series from someone like that.”

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings” series is being developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom” filmmaker J.A. Bayona is directing the first two episodes and also serving as executive producer. Along with Clark, the cast includes Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, and Tom Budge. Amazon has not yet announced a release date for the series.

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