Pippin’s song for Denethor, during the desperate charge of Faramir and his men, is among the most beautiful of “Return of the King”. But did you know she was inspired by screenwriter Philippa Boyens during karaoke?
We are at the end of the 90s. In New Zealand, the filming of Lord of the Rings is in full swing. Between two sessions of hiking in the hills or hunting for the Orca, the actors of the trilogy decide to change their minds by going to participate in a karaoke, accompanied by the screenwriter Philippa Boyens.
The evening takes place normally, Dominic Monaghan (Merry), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Liv Tyler (Arwen) follow one another behind the microphone. But when it comes to Billy Boyd, performer of the hobbit Pippin, everyone is stunned.
While listening to the performance and the superb voice of the young actor, an idea begins to germinate in the head of Philippa Boyens. As she will relate later in the audio commentary on Return of the King : “I hurried to tell Fran [Walsh, co-scénariste et épouse de Peter Jackson]. “Billy Boyd has a wonderful voice, you have to put it to use.” “
To do this, Boyens imagines a scene that will be remembered: the one where Pippin – while Faramir and several soldiers of Gondor embark on a desperate charge to recapture Osgiliath – performs an a cappella song to accompany the steward’s meal. Denethor.
Magnificent, sober, refined, this sequence still resonates in a special way today in the third opus of the trilogy, like a suspended moment that comes to remind us of the tragic situation in which the inhabitants of Minas Tirith find themselves at this precise moment.
“The song’s lyrics are taken from the book. And Billy composed the music in just two days.”, says Philippa Boyens in the film’s commentary. This magnificent moment is therefore doubly to the credit of the young actor, whose talents as a musician were also exploited again several years later, when it was a question of composing a sung credits for the third opus of The Hobbit, in 2014…
(Re) discover “The Last Goodbye”, also written and performed by Billy Boyd …