Peter Jackson's iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy perfectly cast the beloved Fellowship for their cinematic debut. Decades after, it's hard to imagine any other actor in the role of any member of the film's group.
Unbeknownst to many, the movie trilogy actually had two actors playing the role of the lovable Dwarf Gimli. However, the actor has rarely discussed his time working on The Lord of the Rings franchise... until now.
Brett Beattie discusses his time as Gimli
In an interview with Polygon, secret Gimli actor Brett Beattie revealed everything about his time as the iconic Dwarf. Initially a double for John Rhys-Davies’ horse scenes, the actor eventually became the “go-to Gimli" after the film's prosthetics triggered Rhys-Davis' allergies. As the actor was a perfect “scale double" for group shots, most of the films’ have Beattie in the shot.
“I am aware that a lot of the people, even hard-core Lord of the Rings fans assume that a lot of the shots are some tricky sort of camera angle or some CGI shrinking John Rhys-Davies down,” Beattie says with a good-natured laugh. “I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubbles, but I can only think of a couple of shots where CGI was used to shrink Rhys-Davies down.”
Beattie claims that he spent 189 days playing the role of Gimli. In fact, the double played so much of the role that he claims a YouTube Gimli montage only had 4 seconds of Rhys-Davies.
Filming Lord of the Rings caused many injuries
Lord of the Rings is well known for causing a few injuries. For example, the actor got Aragorn broke his toes kicking a prop helmet. For Beattie, injuries were frequent; the actor revealed he recently received his third knee reconstruction following the films. In one shot, the actor injured himself with a prop axe.
“I clipped my brow on the way past. Because I was wearing a prosthetic mask, the blood couldn’t get out. So the blood built up and built up under the mask until, eventually, an eye-bag which was glued on actually ruptured and the blood just started spurting out.”
Beattie has his tattoo, Rhys-Davies doesn't
After the completion of The Lord of the Rings trilogy each member of the Fellowship got an identical tattoo. With the sheer amount of work that the actor did, the rest of the cast reached out to Beattie to get their tattoos together.
“I remember Elijah Wood actually approached me first and invited me. And to tell you the truth, my biggest concern at the time was John Rhys-Davies. I knew that this wasn’t supposed to be for me to be asked to get this tattoo. So I said I had to think about it.”
Despite not being credited for his time working on Lord of the Rings, Beattie is proud to have been in the trilogy. While he may not be the voice of Gimli, the actor is a driving force of the iconic films.
“There aren’t too many people who have been jumped by a warg, killed an orc, and delivered a baby all in the same day,” Beattie says with a smile.