Stars of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' talk Middle-earth
- "And Bilbo, for some inexplicable reason, has to have this little trinket," says Martin Freeman, who returns to the film series as Bilbo Baggins.
- We are introduced again to Martin Freeman's depiction of J.R.R. Tolkien's reluctant Hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit." In the first film, Bilbo found himself drawn into joining a group of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their ancestral home, the kingdom of Erebor, which was sacked by a mysterious, fire-breathing beast. Now, the story continues as the band of adventurers reach Erebor and must confront Smaug (sounds like "ow" in the middle), the creature under the mountain who rules over it and all the treasures within.
- "It's nice to play an old, hoary, fire-breathing dragon," says Benedict Cumberbatch.
- The dragon Smaug was glimpsed in the opening of "The Hobbit" last year wiping out a kingdom and claiming it as his own. After seeing several battles in past 'Lord of the Rings" films and the brutal details and length of the fights, seeing an army wiped out in short order is testament to Smaug's power and why it is so feared.
- "It was wonderful to connect with my inner-elf, to come back to my inner elf," says Orlando Bloom, who reprises his "Lord of the Rings" role as Legolas.
- Legolas, the elf warrior from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, makes an appearance in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." The elf prince (he's the son of a king) is at a different place in his thousand-or-so-year-life than when audiences are introduced to him in "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."
- "It was sort of my job to introduce the world to a common elf and to a common Sylvan elf. A Sylvan elf, in Tolkien's words, is less wise and more dangerous," says Evangeline Lily, who plays Wood-elf Tauriel.
- Known for role as Kate in the hit TV series "Lost," Evangeline Lily plays Tauriel, a Wood-elf or Sylvan elf. Tauriel is a character created for "The Hobbit" film series but is not part of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" book.