“I hated it, I enjoyed it, I will always remember it”: The Greatest, Most Legendary Lord of the Rings Scene Nearly Broke Viggo Mortensen

One Lord of the Rings scene that took a toll on Viggo Mortensen.

viggo mortensen in lord of the rings

SUMMARY

  • Peter Jackson had always envisioned an epic and grand battle sequence and he got that opportunity with the 20022 film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
  • However, his ambition pushed both the filmmaker and the cast to their limits, including Viggo Mortensen who admitted he hated filming the sequence.
  • The rising budget of the film due to the battle sequence also caused some tensions between the production company, New Line, and Jackson. 
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Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings stands as one of cinema’s most iconic and successful endeavors. The filmmaker brilliantly brought different elements of the timeless tale to the silver screen, captivating audiences worldwide. The film trilogy’s immense popularity not only garnered adoration but also transformed into a billion-dollar franchise.

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Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings | Credit: New Line Cinema

However, everything almost fell apart due to the filmmaker’s ambitious vision for the climactic Battle of Helm’s Deep in the 2002 film The Two Towers. The arduous filming process took its toll, not only on the filmmaker himself but also on the cast, including Viggo Mortensen, who later admitted that although he loved the sequence, he hated filming it.

Viggo Mortensen Hated Filming the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings Sequel

The climax of the 2002 film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy mostly revolves around the Battle of Helm’s Deep, spanning 40 minutes of screen time. The battle features Aragorn accompanied by Legolas and Gimli, as they try to defend a castle from Saruman’s Uruk-hai shock troops until Gandalf arrives with reinforcements.

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A still from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
A still from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers | Credit: IMDb

In an interview with The Telegraph, Peter Jackson shared that he has always been interested in battle scenes. And he finally got the opportunity to bring his vision for a grand and epic battle sequence in The Two Towers.

However, his ambition pushed both the filmmaker and the cast to their limits. Most of the battle scenes were filmed at night and this filming schedule continued for months. “Those months of night shoots…constant hardship,” said Viggo Mortensen, who portrayed the role of Aragorn in the trilogy.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in The Two Towers
Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn | Credit: New Line Cinema

Sharing his mixed feelings about the Battle of Helm’s Deep, he said,

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“I hated it, I enjoyed it, I will always remember it.”

Sala Baker, the actor and stuntman who portrayed the Dark Lord Sauron, also remarked on the hardships of filming the battle sequence.

“Three and a half months of night shoots – it was the making and breaking of certain people,” he said, as per The Telegraph. The sequence not only strained the cast but also escalated the movie’s budget, leading to some tensions between the production company, New Line Cinema and the filmmaker.

Peter Jackson Took a Stand Against Studio Pressure

Filming the epic battle sequence required many aids from building the Helm’s Deep, including the miniature versions for different shots to working with hundreds of extras. And bringing the filmmaker’s vision to life further added to the film’s budget.

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A still from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers | Credit: New Line Cinema

In his conversation with The Telegraph, Peter Jackson shared that the rising budget of the film also led to some tensions between him and New Line Cinema. “It was a period of time when New Line were at their most angry with us in terms of the budget,” he shared.

The filmmaker recalled getting the studio head Michael Lynne’s message from his co-producer
Barrie M. Osborne. Jackson recalled the conversation,

“I have the studio, I’ve got to connect you with Michael Lynne of New Line.’ I ask why. He says, ‘Oh, he’s going to threaten to sue you and sell the house from under you to cover the cost overruns.'”

Filmmaker Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson | Credit: Wikimedia Commons/foilman

Jackson, however, declined any interference from the studio and told his co-producer, “Just tell Michael Lynne that I’m shooting this f**king film and I’m doing the best job I can, and I’m not going to interrupt my day with a phone call like that.” All the efforts and hardships paid off with the spectacular outcome that has since become one of the most epic battle sequences of all time.

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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is available to stream on Max.

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2213

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.