An exclusive interview with Dallas Barnett who had a special appearance in The Hobbit series.
DALLAS BARNETT interview
By : Kara Stalnaker
1: When did you realize you were interested in acting?
I have always been keen to step in front of the camera or up to the microphone. Iwas active in high school theater in Ohio where i grew up, and had a fairlydecent career in radio and nightclubs Emceeing and doing a bit of StandupComedy. I didn't get into it professionally until i came to NZ, where I starteddoing a lot of radio and TV ads, and got cast voicing some short films, (Something Special - https://youtu.be/ecMNSGiLd1E) documentaries for The Discovery Networks, National Geographic and Animal Planet, plus The Power Rangers TV show.
My first screen exposure was a local Prime time hospital drama here in NZ called Shortland Street, where i played a pretty brutal American Drug Lord for several episodes over a couple years. the roles kept getting offered and the rest is history. I'm lucky enough todo what i do full-time
2: Were you involved in any plays, TV shows or movies before The Hobbit?
Plenty. I did an episode of Spartacus: Vengeance where I played a character with theappealing name of "Sleazy Guy". I Associate Produced and starred in an action film called Contract Killers, playing a retired hit man and overprotective uncle, Starred in the NZ Rock Opera Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song, playing "Monty" Montague,, I got to have the only dialogue in the Andrew Adamson directed, James Cameron Produced fantasy Cirque du Soliel: Worlds Away and I have voiced several seasons of Power Rangers, as well as being pretty actively involved in local NZ content with Webseries, music videos, TV Commercials, Dramas and comedies.
3: How did you feel and act when you found out you got the part of Bill Ferny Sr. and What was the audition process that you went through for The Hobbit film? ?
I was having dinner at my local Tex Mex joint when my agent called me out of the blue. I may have become a tiny bit emotional
I had auditioned a year before when they were in Pre-production for Unexpected Journey as Azog and I didn't get the part, but PJ, Fran and Phillipa remembered my audition and wrote the prologue around that. Bill wasn't even a part of the film until after Principal Photography had finished and they needed an opening scene.
The audition process was pretty straight forward, get offered the audition, receivethe sides ( audition script), turn up and try to make the Casting Director remember you
4 What is your favorite place in NZ to film or visit??
Dallas: Gosh..New Zealand is such a gorgeous country its hard to say what i like best about it.
I Live in Auckland, but I regularly visit the Central North Island along theVolcanic Plateau (Taupo, Rotorua, National Park and the Bay of Plenty region. ).. there are 30-odd amazing beaches within an hours drive from me, someaccessible only by 4WD, which I like to spend some time at with friends and ofcourse the Auckland metropolitan area. the entire nation has such diverse landscapes, experiences and people, its hard to pin down a favorite.
As far as filming, I love the Upper North Island and the Taupo Volcanic Zone(where they filmed Mordor).. pretty wild 2 hours north of Auckland and you can get lost in the sky till sunup and the Taupo area is filled with huge volcanoes and thermal areas. Of Course, nothing beats filming at Stone Street Studios in Wellington ;)
6: If there were any character either in The Hobbit or any other film which would it be and why?
I want to try and get into the Marvel or DC universes playing either a villain or reluctant hero type. my dream role in the short term is Kraven theHunter in the Sinister 6 film.
7: Would you like to do another film that is on this large of scale?
Hopefully I can. Avatar Sequels start shooting here in NZ soon, and heaps of other blockbusters are making their way here finally. The MCU and DCU are goals ofmine, as well as possibly some Sci-fi like the Blade Runner sequel, or StarWars.
ForTV, the Geek Standards of Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are something I'dlove to be a part of.
I do have to admit that I love independent film though .. small budget, skeleton crew, 16 hour day creative sh$%storm..
8: Was there anything that you got to take home with you from the set?
I snagged a Chocolate Fish and 5 packets of instant coffee from my trailer as I was leaving .. don't tell PJ
9: Filming some scenes takes awhile, how long did it take to film the scene in the Prancing Pony?
2 days in the Pony and another 2 in the streets of Bree. 99% of the outdoor stuffnever made the film sadly. Maybe in the Ultimate Box Set?
In filming, you have your Long shots, Medium shots, Closeups and sometimes ExtremeCloseups. then you do Reverse on all of them and sometimes 3rd angle. PJ does about 10 takes of each, changing and adjusting as we go.
10: Starting at the time you arrive on set, can you walk us through the steps that you have go through to start filming?
I would usually be picked up at my hotel around 5 am and driven to Stone Streetfor Makeup and Wardrobe by 5:30. My makeup was only about an hour a day, shaving my eyebrows and scarring me up a bit, and the Wardrobe took about aslong, lacing, buckling and strapping 40 pounds of leather onto me depending on schedule, I would either be sent to breakfast before of just after and then straight to set where I got to watch everything being set up and planned out for the next shot.
PJ would explain everything to the actors on where the cameras were going to beand track and try to give us an idea of the scene he wanted. Between setups, we would wait in the tents with other principal actors drinking coffee and chatting. i had a wonderful conversation with Sir Ian
11: When was the first time you read The Hobbit?
I played Dungeons and Dragons through Jr. High and High School and always had my nose in a book by Terry Brooks, Davids Eddings or Tolkien. I think the first time reading The Hobbit was about 12 years old or so and the entire Middle Earth universe still fascinates me to this day in how complex it all is. easily one of the best-developed fantasy worlds in history.
12: When you’re not filming what kind of activities do you like to be involved in?
When I'm not working on camera, I am still putting in a few hours a dayin front of a microphone normally, doing TV and Radio ads and documentaries.
I also try and fit in a couple of hours at the gym a few times a week, I exploreNZ quite a bit when i can get away for the weekend, and I will always try and catch up with mates at the pub or on Skype to unwind.
Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for me and all your fans out there. We look forward to other projects that you have coming up in the future!
Thanks for having me!. I hope to get a chance to meet a lot of fans over the next couple of years, as I am starting to get invited to international conventions and I want to attend as many as my filming schedule will allow me to .
Please visit me on Social Media
YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/FIGJAM1200A/
Photos by: *MelissaNickerson Photography and screenshots from TheHobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Contract Killers (2104) andSouth Pacific Pictures Coverband TV Show. All Rights Reserved