Back left
Back right

Luke Evans as Bard: Reluctant Hero

Dec 15, 2014

By: Lynn Barker

Handsome actor Luke Evans who recently impressed as a more sympathetic vampire in Dracula: Untold, continues his role as another very likeable and reluctant hero. Bard, the humble bargeman in The Hobbit films, is a loving dad above all but will take up arms in a super impressive way when his family and world are threatened by dragon Smaug and evil armies of orcs. 

Romantic pic of Bard (Luke Evans)Romantic pic of Bard (Luke Evans)Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Evans met with press to tell tales from set and answer a most important question: Would he ever sit down at home to watch ALL of the LOTR and Hobbit films marathon-style?

Q: In this final film we see the real, heroic side of the character Bard so can you tell us what you can without giving too much away?

  • Luke: Well you know that he’s the father of three children and he’s a widower. He’s just a lonely bargeman who has got his principals in the right place. His moral compass is going the right way. He’s put in jail and the town is evacuating and all he wants to do is protect his children, his family. They’re all that he has. He does something almost superhuman in a way.
  • This is a man who is an unlikely hero. He’s not a man who is looking for the accolades of being a hero. He doesn’t want anybody to look at him and revere him. He just wants to look after his kids. What he does in the third film is nothing short of spectacular and it’s an admirable thing to see somebody who is not necessarily the man for the job but who ends up doing the job and doing it well.

Bard (Luke Evans) with his childrenBard (Luke Evans) with his childrenCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Did this last film require a lot of physical training for you and, if so, what type?

  • Luke: There was a lot of archery, a lot of rolling around on foam mats in a big freezing cold warehouse next to Wellington (New Zealand) airport for days on end. Lots of cuts and grazes and knuckles bleeding. Yeah, a lot of that stuff went on for the whole movie.

Bard sees the battle destructionBard sees the battle destructionCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Ouch! Sounds pretty brutal!

  • Luke: And, there was a lot of mental stuff. When you turn the corner and you’re being faced with 60 stuntmen in orc costumes with black blood and teeth and special lenses to make their eyes yellow charging at you, half the battle is what’s going on in your head and reminding yourself that they’re not real!

Q: It does feel quite real when you’re on set with them.

  • Luke: Try to have lunch sitting opposite them. That’s quite scary!

Q: From an acting point of view, do you get excited about the whole picture, all the things going on or do you just need to concentrate on your bit?

  • Luke: Well, you’re aware of the story because you have the script so you know what else is being shot that you might not be part of but in a way you have to let that happen without your control and focus on your journey in your storyline. What’s very nice about Bard’s character is that he intermixes with a lot of other characters which is quite lovely in a way.
  • He’s a lowly human character but he ends up chatting with Gandalf and the king of the elves and you forget when you get to the third movie that this is the guy we saw sailing in empty barrels at the beginning of the second film. This man has come a long way. It’s an amazing achievement for a lowly everyman. He’s risen above the rest, not by choice but by circumstance.

Bard and Gandalf face overwhelming oddsBard and Gandalf face overwhelming oddsCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Did you get excited about being on a set with dwarves, elves, humans etc.?

  • Luke: Yeah, it’s fun and it’s very unusual. I’ll probably never experience that again. I think only in Middle Earth would you have all those creatures in one film. It was always a very fun time on set whether you were on the studio lot or in your trailer, the sights you would see on a daily basis were quite extraordinary.
  • It would be weird when I first arrived because I didn’t recognize anybody. I’d meet them out of costume in the evening and the next day they would be in costume saying hello to you but I didn’t know who they were! It took quite a few weeks before that novelty sort of wore off and then I knew who there were but that’s very unusual. Guess who?

Q: Can you gage what Peter Jackson is excited about with this third movie?

  • Luke: I think he’s excited about everything. He’s had a lot of fun in this third movie. The battle itself is a huge part of the film. It’s a very complicated, technical battle with five different entities fighting and it’s done in a very clever way so you understand the geography of the land that’s being used in the film. It’s not complicated to understand where they are coming from which is an amazing achievement because it could get super complicated. It works very well.
  • You can see this battle unfolding and the disasters waiting to happen and it took a lot of brain power to design those scenes. It’s a crazy journey from start to finish. Also no character is drowned out by the CGI which I think, in a film like this, would be an easy thing to happen and the fact that everybody gets their moment and has their time to shine, is a beautiful thing.

Bard and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) talk battle plansBard and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) talk battle plansCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Are you impressed when you see the spectacular, finished look of the film?

  • Luke: Oh yeah. The opening to this third movie, I just remember that most of what I’m looking at isn’t there (on set), actually, none of it was there. That’s an achievement in itself, that I’m looking at a giant dragon that wasn’t even designed when I shot that scene. That was the first scene I ever shot in the whole movie.

Q: Were you a reader of the Tolkien books?

  • Luke: I was. I’d read “The Hobbit” and attempted to read “The Lord of the Rings”. They’re big books. I just would like to think that if he were here today he’d be very proud of what we achieved with these films and to see how the fans are incredibly passionate people that follow these films.
  • I stopped in at a bar in the West End of London. We were told that there was a big congregation of fans who were dressed up and they all hang out with each other. It’s a big family affair and I went in to say ‘hello’ and the energy and love in that room was amazing. It was palpable and you don’t experience that one every movie. It was a special experience.

Q: Would you ever sit down and watch all six movies in one go?

  • Luke: Yes. I’ll wait for a very snowy, cold Sunday when I have nothing to do and I can wrap up in a duvet with a big bag of popcorn and watch the whole six back to back, yes!

The Hobbit Poster featuring Luke as BardThe Hobbit Poster featuring Luke as BardCourtesy of Warner Bros.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you excited to see the final Hobbit Movie? Comment below and let us know!