Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, who played the hobbits Merry and Pippin in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings series, recently joined host Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. The two actors discussed Lord of the Rings and also talked about their podcast, The Friendship Onion. When Colbert mentioned the petition opposing nudity in Amazon's adaptation, Boyd had his own story to tell. He said,
"Here's the thing. There was almost nudity in the movies. Philippa Boyens... she wrote a scene, because we'd been doing some kind of gags and winding people up... [and] scene said, 'Oh, it's a new scene we're filming next week, with the Ents. When Merry and Pippin are up Treebeard, he gets afraid and shakes his branches, which makes you guys fall, and as you hit all the branches on the way down, by the time you hit the ground, you're naked. And Merry turns to Pippin and says, 'It's cold, isn't it?' And Pippin says, 'Hold me, Merry.'"
Boyd added, "So, I call up Dom and I said, 'Have you seen this new scene? We're naked!'" Monaghan came up with a cheeky response telling Colbert he did not oppose the idea of appearing nude in the film, "I was kind of into it. I have a really fantastic ass. I thought now is the time to get it out." The scene was just a hilarious gag that was never even filmed but that may not be the case with Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show.
Colbert then read a few lines from the books featuring the character of Tom Bombadil (who was also cut from the movies), which had the hobbits basking in the sun naked after discarding their "wet rags". Colbert goes on,
"So I don't want to hear it from any of the prudes who don't think they shouldn't be any nudity in The Lord of the Rings."
The trio also danced to a Hobbit drinking song and had a Lord of the Rings trivia with director Peter Jackson also joining in. You can check out the clip below.
Amazon's Lord of the Rings adaptation is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Stemming from an announcement made last year that the show will hire "intimacy coaches", rumors have been circulating that the show will feature nudity and/or sex scenes. A Change.org petition opposing any vulgarity in the show currently has close to 50,000 signatures.
The books and Peter Jackson's films feature a few intimate scenes but not like Game of Thrones. If rumors are to be believed, Amazon may be taking it up a notch and feature more sensual, more revealing scenes in its Lord of the Rings show. But it is unlikely that they'll include any naked hobbits or elves making love. With a budget of half a billion for the first season alone, the show needs to be accessible to a broad global audience and be family-friendly. Amazon will only be alienating a large chunk of the audience if they go forward with a TV-MA-rated adaption of Tolkien's much-loved books. This news comes to us from Entertainment Weekly.