There may be no more complex character in The Lord of the Rings than Faramir. He's a soldier with a scholar's heart…a dutiful son spurned by his father…a brother who can never measure up…a man who had the One Ring in his grasp-and willingly let it go.
It's a rich role, and David Wenham considers himself fortunate to play it. Here, the up-and-coming Australian actor talks about Faramir's struggles, the splendors of Minas Tirith and the heroic struggle to defend the White City.
What lies ahead for Faramir in The Return of the King?
Faramir faces incredible struggles throughout The Lord of the Rings, and in The Return of the King, everything escalates. He's been under incredible pressure for a long time, and it basically comes to breaking point. The tension in all storylines is at its absolute peak.
Denethor is a man on the edge of sanity, and he's pushed Faramir into doing things that aren't necessarily logical, like leading his men out to almost certain death against the forces of Sauron. But he loves his father, and he follows his commands fully.
How does Faramir deal with living in the shadow of his older brother, Boromir?
Faramir realizes he's never going to live up to the expectations of his father. Boromir was his father's favorite son. Boromir was the boisterous soldier, whereas Faramir is a thinker, forced to lead men in very difficult circumstances. After Boromir's death, Gandalf sums it up best by saying that Faramir essentially does the work of two brothers.
But Faramir's also a good soldier, right?
Absolutely. He's courageous and loyal, and very skilled. He would gladly give his life for Gondor.
It's the biggest battle of the War Of The Ring. When I think back on it, I think of the fields and horses. I remember pinching myself one day, being on a horse amongst hundreds of horses and stunt men, and thinking, I'm a pretty lucky guy.
Word is the Minas Tirith set is pretty amazing.
It is. There was a huge set built in a quarry in Wellington. The size was just overwhelming, and the detail was incredible. I found myself just wandering through the streets. It was very easy to lose yourself in it.
Will The Return of the King live up to expectations?
I know the expectations are enormous, but I'm confident the film will live up to, and possibly exceed expectations. The Return of the King has always been Peter Jackson's favorite.
Is there one thing about this project that really impressed you?
The design, for me, is overwhelming. The scale of it, the detail within it. It is mind boggling the amount of sweat, pain and love that's gone into the sets, the costumes, the weaponry, the armor. It's a humbling experience, seeing the amount of work people have put into this. They made sure there was a truth in everything on screen. Near enough wasn't good enough. I consider myself bloody lucky to have been involved in this project.