Peter Jackson Lost His Sleep Over Martin Freeman, Changed Hobbit's Schedule to Lure Him In
The iconic Lord of the Rings director admits he was ”torturing himself,” fearing he wouldn’t be able to get his hands on Freeman for The Hobbit.
Peter Jackson’s live-action adaptation of Tolkien’s legendary The Lord of the Rings series turned the director into one of the most famous and beloved filmmakers in the world, cementing his place in cinema history with the masterfully crafted trilogy. For many years after that, Tolkien’s legacy remained borderline untouched, until…
…until the decision to make The Hobbit into a trilogy, too, was made.
Chronologically, The Hobbit precedes Lord of the Rings, but since it was not that important plot-wise, it took quite a few decades for this movie to be filmed.
Obviously, there was no better director for the job than Peter Jackson who’d already created the phenomenal and widely acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy, so his team got to work.
And with that, Peter Jackson’s nightmare began.
The thing is, the director only wanted one actor to undertake the role of Bilbo, and it was Martin Freeman. Freeman was, at the time, incredibly busy with other projects, including Sherlock BBC, and Peter Jackson was going insane over this coincidence.
“Martin was the only person that we wanted for that role, and that was really before we met Martin. We knew him from The Office and Hitchhiker’s Guide [to the Galaxy], and we just felt he had qualities that would be perfect for Bilbo. The stuffy, repressed English quality,” Peter Jackson explained to THR.
The Lord of the Rings director was literally obsessing over Martin Freeman, “torturing” himself by watching Sherlock BBC in the middle of the night and praying for the actor to come around.
“We were in trouble. I was really panicking. I was having sleepless nights. We were probably six weeks away from the beginning of the shoot, and we hadn’t settled on anyone else. I was torturing myself by watching Sherlock on an iPad at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Jackson shared.
In the end, the director made a power move: he changed the entire schedule for The Hobbit to ensure that Martin Freeman could star in both his movie and Sherlock BBC at the same time.
After that, things became very simple: since Freeman was a huge fan of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, he accepted the offer straight away (via Vanity Fair).
But this whole ordeal cost Peter Jackson way more nerves than it should have.