Was it always planned that Smeagol would be part of the narrative?
It was always part of the script, to show how the Ring corrupted and changed him.
And were you always supposed to handle both "roles"?
When I joined up, Young Smeagol hadn't been cast, but we all agreed that I'd play him.
How do the "characters" of Gollum and Smeagol relate to each other?
Gollum talks to himself all the time, so we've made this a constant battle between Gollum and Smeagol. Gollum is the tough, venal, violent side, who helped him survive alone in the Misty Mountains. Smeagol is the naive, fawning, childlike part that's been put away more.
What changes do we see when Smeagol surfaces?
When he meets Frodo, Smeagol is let out, almost like an abused child. Smeagol's very eager to please, which is quite funny. There's a scene we filmed where he's trying to impress Frodo and Sam by catching a fish. He's jumping around looking back at them, trying to show off, again, like a kid: "Look at me, Dad!" It's one of the rare moments when he's in a good mood.
Did you play up the humor of Gollum?
Peter's not averse to being naughty, and there's naughtiness in Gollum, too. It's a fine balance, but there were moments where he bubbles up. He's very melodramatic and plays up his pain, which is funny when it's handled right.