Photos of Conan in Movies


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

*Update: Between initial casting and final edit my character was renamed BOLG, who in the Tolkein book is the son of Azog.

I am to play Azog in Peter Jacksons Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) two part prequel "The Hobbit" based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.


Movie Legend Peter Jackson And Wannabe Legend Conan Stevens 

Since I am under a strict NDA I cannot discuss "The Hobbit" or Azog so you won't be getting any inside behind the scenes stuff, Peter does that anyway, but you will get a lot of inside info on how an actor feels after 24 years of struggle and now working in a major "Hollywood" movie... wait should that be THE major Hollywood movie this year.... in fact wouldn't this possibly be the biggest movie since..... well since ... Lord Of The Rings?

A big budget movie according to many websites - definitely much bigger than the US$500,000 budget for the movie my mates and I produced, directed, filmed, choreographed, etc

Yes, I am very happy. Since I cannot talk about it yet, let us see what Peter himself had to say about it.... 

I think the best way to go about this is to steal the words right out of Peter's mouth, or rather off his facebook announcement (BTW if you are on facebook go and add Peter's page as he releases lots of inside info there):

Last, and certainly not least, is Conan Stevens, who will be playing an Orc called Azog (Orcs are never called Roger or Dennis for some strange reason).  And yes that's his name—Conan! Isn't that cool? Azog is played by Conan! Here's a photo of Conan and I together... I'm pretty tall, probably at least 6'5" or 6'6" I would guess, so that gives you some clue how tall Conan is! You can learn all about him at

Well there we go - IT"S FINALLY OFFICIAL - I am in The Hobbit as Azog an Orc. And if you did not already know Sir Peter Jackson , to use his correct title, has a good sense of humour and it shows throughout the production - in business it is called the "business culture". 

In my currently limited dealings within the studios and the Hobbit team members I have to say Peters' style has infiltrated the set. There is a lot of stress of course but the way it is handled is exemplary, everyone is giving their best but there is good humour, people seem happy to be at work with people enjoying their jobs, putting in all the hard work and long hours required.

Regular readers will know I have been dropping hints of something coming up for a while now, maybe the best way to go about this would be to do the time line of articles leading up to the Azog announcement:

And that brings us to todays announcement - I AM AZOG.

Yes, I am very happy to be able to finally let it out.

Basically after filming in "Game of Thrones" as Ser Gregor Clegane, I got online and started looking for any other action/fantasy movies that I would be suitable for. I noticed The Hobbit had started casting and almost had a panic attack - already casting.

The first thing I did was read The Hobbit book again (I first read the book when I was 12, it changed my life, I got into Dungeons and Dragons, started watching fantasy DVD movies, practised sword fighting in the backyard, all the things kids do - little did I know it would all come in useful later as a stunt actor), looking for suitable characters - I found one, a smaller part with not too many lines - described in the book as the biggest man Bilbo had ever seen - Beorn, a wearbear, or shapeshifter. The other character I thought I could do would be was one of the three trolls, again not major roles, some lines but not too many, but a physical presence would be required.

Physical Presence - Conan Has It



7' Tall And Muscular (Charity Bed Race) 

I thought these would be good as I have a lot of on screen time fighting, but not much dialogue, well not much dialogue that wasn't dubbed into Mandarin (Chinese), Hindi (Indian) or Thai. I was thinking that with these smaller roles the Producers might give me a look in as I am rather a large individual with a reasonable track record now.

I called an agent and asked him to get me an audition for the part of Beorn. He faltered,  I told him to "do like Nike", not understanding I explained  "Just do it". I wanted this part, I did not want to miss a chance in this (yes, I am a big Tolkien fan). My thoughts were that if I did OK for the Beorn role but not good enough I might be offered a "consolation prize" of a troll role.

Luckily the agent did follow it up and he called back a few days later surprised that I was going to get a chance in an audition, but not for the role of Beorn but for a character called Azog (at this point I re-read Tolkiens book).

I was confident but also concerned if I did not suit what the Producers were looking for then it could be ages before another opportunity like Azog arose.

I already missed a part in the new "Conan" movie (see last paragraph in the linked article) and The Hobbit was the only other book that had played a major part in the path my life took. For me it was more than just a movie, more than just a big movie, it was a part in the movie that put me on course that was partly responsible for ruining my academic career and sending me on my dream goals to be an action movie star (still working on that  goal, but getting closer).

I did the Azog audition while I had dysentery (ie really sick), and did another audition take at home by myself on my Nokia N8 phone next day when I felt somewhat better, which I sent in. (N8 has HD video built in - it is a small wonder in my pocket at all times and a god send for wandering actors like me). 

The two months from the audition until the news that I was being considered for the part was tough, the wait was stressful. I did not sit about thinking all day, I was reasonably confident but it got to the point were I did not sleep more than a few hours a night and that sleep was not good.

A few close people I told kept saying things like "If you manage to pull this one off...", "imagine you are lucky enough to get this...", etc. I was confident, I told them this was not luck and asked them please do not talk like that again, 24 years of preparation is not luck. (Putting on 70kg in the gym, fighting in the SCA (medieval society), the physical preparation, 9 years Pro Wrestling, the super strict diet 24/7/365, the self education, the Internet marketing and my website are not luck).

If The Hobbit was looking for someone like me I believed I could do the job of Azog. If they were not looking for someone like me then I would miss the job - it was nothing to do with luck, or manipulating people, or pretending to be a nice person, pretending to be anyones friend, kissing butt, nor casting couches.

If you prepare properly then you have a shot, you make your own luck by being prepared.

Since then I have been waiting to sign the Azog / Hobbit contracts (with some additional difficulties I won't go into) then finally waiting for the official Azog / Conan announcement.

Such a relief. I was described at work today after the announcement as being "like a puppy" bouncing all over, unable to sit still, unable to shut up, I was positively bubbling. Conan the Puppy, sounds a bit soft. Maybe I will have to "Harden the F* up" (NSFW) to portray Azog. (Aussie joke for my International readers).

This is a lifelong goal finally reached, next step is to move the bar higher and go for the Action Movie Star status, moving the career upwards. But first I have several smaller steps to try to secure with the use of this Azog / Hobbit credit that will make my entry into the leading villian status a bit easier.

And if I fail? I'll amend the plan and try again. 25 years in development, it's not like I am about to abandon the dream now. And if I still fail? I've done good so far, this in itself is an achievement I can be proud of.

Now I just have to do the best job I can, be part of the Hobbit team and be the best Azog I can be. 

< Prev   Next >