When Evangeline Lilly signed on for The Hobbit, she only had one stipulation.
While promoting The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug last year, Lilly revealed that she agreed to take the role of Tauriel – an original character who did not appear in Tolkien’s stories – on one condition: there was to be no love triangle. But as fans of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films will now know, despite Lilly’s protestations, this romantic element quickly made it into the film during reshoots for Smaug.
As we approach the third and final installment of the franchise, we asked Lilly to reflect back on this decision when we spoke to her at San Diego Comic-Con. “I don’t think it’s the most shining part of the film, and I don’t think it’s necessarily – I’m going to get lynched for saying this – but it’s not totally Tolkien,” she says.
Initially, there was no sign of a love triangle in the film. But after she was told about the new direction for her character, it also wasn’t the dramatic scene that some may be imagining. “I actually didn’t drop to my knees and cry, I actually understood,” she laughs. “Love triangles get a bit obnoxious even if they’re clear, but when they’re not, it’s even more obnoxious, so I understood why they had to do it.”
Lilly is also quick to remind us that the love triangle is not the most interesting aspect of Tauriel’s character. “Ultimately Tauriel, at the bottom of it all, is a hero. She starts out as a hero, and she ends as a hero. I think she has a great story.”
For more from Evangeline Lilly, look for our full interview with her later today.
Lilly is at Comic-Con to promote her authorial debut, The Squickerwonkers. The children’s book features illustrations by Johnny Fraser-Allen, who Lilly met through his work at Weta Workshop while she was filming The Hobbit.
The Squickerwonkers by Evangeline Lilly is available now for pre-order. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be released on December 17, 2014.