“Lord of the Rings” fans might not recognize Stephen Ure by his face, but they will surely remember the performances he gives in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth trilogy. Ure disguised himself under pounds of makeup prosthetics to play several Orc characters on the three films, most notably the Orc captain of Mordor named Grishnákh. The actor recently joined other performers who played Orcs and Uruk-hai for an interview with Thrillist, and he attributed some of the franchise’s most baffling lines of dialogue to “Rings” co-writer Philippa Boyens.
One of Ure’s most famous “Rings” scenes is the “Two Towers” fight that breaks out between the Orcs and Uruk-hai over whether or not some of the hungry Orcs can eat the hobbits Pippin and Merry. The fight culminates in a Uruk-hai proclaiming, “Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!” The line has lived in infamy among “Rings” fans as it poses many questions about the Uruk-hai lifestyle (do they have menus and restaurants in Middle Earth?).
“There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t really make sense. Of course they wouldn’t know what a menu was,” Ure told Thrillist. “You’re not going to start debating the writing, because maybe then they are going to run away and rewrite it and then you are going to be sitting there in all that stuff. Really, at the end of the day, you just want it to be over and get out of that stuff. I had no idea that this scene had become so famous.”
Ure noted “there’s a lot of clunky things” in the “Lord of the Rings” script and said, “It’s Philippa Boyens. She puts all this stuff in there that doesn’t make sense. She was taken on board because she was the Tolkien expert. I can tell the lines that Philippa wrote. Like in the third film where I’m playing Gorbag, and when I finally come up from the big orc fight that starts over the Mithril vest, and I’m going to kill Elijah [Wood as Frodo], and say, ‘I’m going to bleed you like a stuck pig.'”
Boyens was a credited screenwriter along with Jackson and Fran Walsh on all three “Lord of the Rings” movies, and the three writers also handled the scripts for Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy. The threesome won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay thanks to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”