Of the 1,160 combined minutes of the six “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films, Academy Award-winning producer-director Peter Jackson singled out one 2-minute, 31-second scene that he deems his all-time favorite, one that he says “captures a lot of the spirit” of the films.
The scene came during “Two Towers,” when Gollum was introduced.
“A key thing with Gollum, as most people know, is that he’s Smeagol and he’s Gollum; it’s like a split,” Jackson told Stephen Colbert, who recently took his late-night show down to New Zealand, where Jackson lives. “We hadn’t gotten a scene where you really got the idea, ‘This guy is two people.’ So, we knew that we needed it.”
Unfortunately, shooting an additional scene didn’t fit anywhere into the production schedule. Jackson solved the problem by asking his partner, Fran Walsh, to write up something to address the duality of Smeagol-Gollum and still fall within their timetable.
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“So Fran wrote a scene where Sam and Frodo are asleep — so they can be just lumps in the bed, [and] we don’t have to have Elijah [Wood] and Sean [Astin] — and a little set,” Jackson said. “And we didn’t have anyone to direct it, so I said to Fran, ‘Well you wrote it, you should go and shoot it.’ So she went in there for a day, and she wrote and directed the scene, which has become kind of pretty famous now.”
In the pivotal scene, Gollum talks with his good half, Smeagol, about the ring and the hobbits, attempting to convince him that Sam and Frodo will cheat and hurt him.
“You’re a liar… and a thief,” Smeagol says, adding sinisterly, “Murderer.” In the end, Gollum gathers the strength to tell him to “leave and never come back.”
Jackson explained, “We just realized that we needed it to really sell the idea to the audience of who this guy is.”
You can watch the segment in the video above.