I just saw one of those “on the set” TV specials about the latest Lord of the rings movie and the director Peter Jackson said something very interesting about the casting for the movies. It turns out that when they were looking for actors they went by three main criteria:
1: They wanted people who could bring the characters from the book to life, who could give you the feeling that Frodo or Gandalf had stepped out of the book.
2: They wanted good actors, but they avoided any really big stars. For instance, Orlando Bloom who plays Legolas was hired just before he finished acting school.
3: And then there was one final criterion, one that really interested me: Peter Jackson only wanted actors who were nice people. After all, they would be spending over a year shooting the movie, so they might as well have a good time.
The TV show showed some of the actors interacting, and it’s obvious that they like each other and had a great time. This is also witnessed by the fact, that the nine actors comprising the “Fellowship of the ring” all went out and got tattoos of the elvish number “9”. This stands in sharp contrast to the many Hollywood stars who are known more for the extravagant demands they can make on a movie production than for their easy-going natures.
Seen in the context of my “Happy at work” project this is very interesting, and it mirrors precisely the attitude at Rosenbluth International (one of the world largest business travel agencies) who “hire for personality and train for skill”. To them it matters more that a potential new employee be a nice person than highly qualified, as described in the book Put the customer second.
Please don’t watch any of those “behind the scenes” TV shows before seeing “Return of the king”, it will give away way too much of the experience.