Interview: ROYD TOLKIEN

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Royd Allan Reuel Tolkien is a film producer and movie maker. He is also the great-grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien and has also appeared in The Return of the King at the request of the director, Peter Jackson. We caught up with Royd at the recent SciFi Weekender to find out more about his current projects and his family.

STARBURST: What brings you to the convention scene?

Royd Tolkien: I love it. This is the first one that I’ve done since RingCon in Germany, which was ten years ago. I did it back then during LOTR. I wasn’t reluctant to do it at first. I thought just because I’m related to him, it’s not my merit that has created all this interest in me coming to an event like this. The way I justify it is this; I am a huge Elvis fan and if I could meet any one or any thing to do with Elvis, I’d freak out. It would be brilliant. If I could meet Lisa Marie Presley it’d be amazing.  So I understand it.

What is it like growing up with such a legacy?
It’s really cool. My life is super normal. I live in Wales. I like gardening and country walks.  I have a very normal life.  He’s always been there first and foremost as my great grandfather.  It wasn’t like he suddenly became massively famous when I was a teenager; that would have freaked me out. The fame has just always been there. I think as well that all my life the family has had an involvement with the Tolkien society . They meet yearly in Oxford and they get together and they’re really nice people. We’ve always been involved in that so when the films came out  and the fandom became huge it was an extension of that so I’m comfortable with it.

I was over in LA with a friend of mine and a few of the actors and stunt guys from LOTR where doing a thing for under-privileged kids in down-town LA and they asked me to come along. That started it for me. If I can inspire anyone then I’m absolutely fine with that.

What’s your next big project?
My younger brother has motor-neuron disease  which is an awful condition; there’s no cure, it’s terminal and it basically robs you of everything that you can do.  He can’t use his arms and legs and he’s very frail. He used to be a very active adrenaline junkie where as I’m the opposite; I prefer gardening and ambling around. So what he asked me to do was his bucket-list, because he can’t do it anymore, so he asked me to do it. We are going to Queenstown in New Zealand, the adventure capital of the world, and he’s going to make me do all that crazy stuff he can’t do any more. It’s called “There’s a hole in my bucket”. I’m going to experience part of his life and face my fears while he’s facing his.

What parts of that list are you looking forward to?
None, what so ever.  *laughs*

Which bit scares you the most?
All of it! *laughs* I don’t know a lot of the list, so that will also be a thing.  I’ll do literally do anything for him, just to make him smile, and he knows that.

It’s not just about us having a laugh and me doing crazy things, it’s also a  journey of discovery.  We hope to raise awareness about motor neuron disease which is massively underfunded  and there’s not a lot of support for someone in his condition.

If you could give the ten-year-old version of yourself any advice, what would it be?
Live life in the moment.  Because my brother has got what he’s got it’s absolutely changed my goals in life. Life is for living.  Don’t tie yourself down, it’s about appreciating what you’ve got and none of us know how long we’ve got.  We could be here for a minute; we could be here for forty years. Live life to the fullest.

Simpsons or Futurama?
Simpsons

Elves or Dwarves?
Elves

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek Next Generation.

Truth or Beauty?
Always Truth.

Royd's production credits include PIMP, in which he also starred in as himself. He is currently working with his production company on THERE'S A HOLE IN MY BUCKET.

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