Interview with Roy Billing – The Chief Dufflepud Mentioned

NarniaWebber icarus stumbled across a video interview with Roy Billing from last year at the 2009 AFI Award nominations. In this interview, he mentions a small but intriguing detail regarding the Dufflepuds.

At about the 1:50 mark…

Interviewer: Tell me, are you working at the moment? Any upcoming projects I should know about?

Roy Billing: The week after next I go back up to the Gold Coast to finish off a role in the new Narnia chronicles movie, playing a character called the Chief Dufflepud, who will be digitally shrunk to about that tall (*Roy holds his hand out in front of him to indicate the height*), with one leg, a big nose, big ears, beard… you won’t recognise me. It was great. But 3 hours in the make-up chair. (*Laughs*) Oh and hair everywhere!

So this confirms that the Dufflepuds will be digitally shrunk for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. There was a bit of concern that the Dufflepuds might not be small like described in the book after normal sized actors were cast in the role as opposed to little people. Though we did previously report that green screen tests were done for the characters prior to filming.

Thanks to icarus for the heads-up!

45 Responses

  1. Jeremy says:

    So they'll be small little critters. Cool!

  2. always narnian says:

    alright interesting

  3. Daredevil says:

    It does make you wonder why they went with this route (hiring large actors and then shrinking them down)for the Dufflepuds, when for LWW and PC they just went with little people actors for the Dwarf characters.

    Considering VDT is supposed to be operating on a reduced budget you would of thought it would be much cheaper and simpler just to get small actors rather than having to digitally shrink large actors.

  4. RuralNarniaFan says:

    It's about the height-to-mass ratio. Dwarven humans tend to be wider than normal people, and as with the hobbits in LOTR, they wanted to have a more normal height-to-width ratio.

  5. Narniamiss says:

    Very cool! I am really looking forward to seeing this in theatres.

  6. coracle says:

    I think one important aspect is the degree of movement required – bouncing around is NOT something most dwarfs can cope with (spinal problems). They would therefore cast whoever they wanted rather than a dwarf actor.

  7. Puddleglum says:

    I just hope they include some of their dialoge in the book. It would be good to show just how the Dufflepuds became the way they are.

  8. martin the warrior says:

    i always thought they were not as big as the people but no tiny like a badger. i don't think they should do by CG. it always makes movies look better when they do differnt shots with the camera. in the lord of the rings it will never look fake cuz all the shots with the hobbits are either with fake robotics that are big or just differnt things they do with the camera. i think it would be better if they didn't do CG.

  9. Rumblebuffin says:

    I didn't realy understand what is CG but I've seen The Lord of the Rings and I'm a fan of it and I don't see anything bad in that they take famous actors for such roles

  10. Griffle says:

    Not sure I'd call that statement PC (as in publicly correct). I'm pretty sure "little people", as used by Daredevil, is the the preferred term, and to say they "tend to be wider than normal people" is borderline offensive IMO.

    I get what you mean though, and I'm sure it has something to do with it.

    Personally, I think they should've cast little people for these roles as it's not really fair to hire "normal" sized actors to play characters that are meant to be played by shorter actors.

  11. Wow, that's really cool. I had hoped they were going to shrink them digitally. Looking forward to VDT more every minute!

  12. reepicheep775 says:

    His voice sounds awesome for the Chief Voice. It actually sounds really close to what I imagined.

    "Keep it up, Chief, keep it up!"

  13. NarnianElf says:

    Wow, that's great!

  14. Waleed Sajjad Khan says:

    lol the way he described the appearance

  15. Beruna says:

    But shrinking normal sized people will probably be able to give them a different look from dwarfs- which is what is wanted, since they were once Narnian-dwarf-like but are no more.

  16. Beruna says:

    That's a thought. You're probably right. 😀

  17. Trufflehunter says:

    I understood it as, they didn't want the Dufflepuds to be the height of dwarves in the previous movies, they wanted them to be smaller. I couldn't tell if he put his other hand out to indicate they would be 1 foot tall or 4/5.

  18. Eliseo says:

    Amazing; they are actually going try and make the Dufflepuds as they were in the book. Im having a hard time imagining how they are going to pull that off effectively, but thats a better problem to have then wondering how they would have made them differently. Sounds good!

  19. Eustace says:

    We have it confirmed that they have one leg, cool! yes!

  20. Liberty Hoffman says:

    yay! they will be awesome! 😀

  21. narnian resident says:

    glad to hear about these characters they're one of my fave 🙂

  22. narnia fan 7 says:

    Very interesting.

  23. ANTIPC says:

    Down with political correctness!! It really sucks – say what you like!!

  24. Glumpuddle says:

    and 3 hours in the chair sounds somewhat promising for a realistic look, but the orcs in LOTR took almost 24 hours!

  25. Starlily says:

    Small and hairy! 🙂

    I don't think they'll be quite what I'm expecting, but I'm sure I'll like them.

  26. Starlily says:

    Oh, I hope they do his character right!

  27. pselpevensie says:

    i can't wait to see them!

  28. Griffle says:

    Well, they'll be invisible for the most part anyways, so why does any of this matter? 😉

  29. Anna's Sister says:

    Did you see the reporters face when he said "Voyage of the Dawn Treader"? She must be a fan of Narnia cause she looked pretty excited. I like the sound of the dufflepuds.

  30. Beruna says:

    What are you talking about??

  31. KingSkandartheJust says:

    very very very cool! I am so excited for the Dufflepuds they should be amazing! Roy looks just perfect for the role! That island is one of my favorites in the book. A very very exciting and funny chapter! I can't wait for it to come out but thinking about winter (Dec.) is so wrong at this time of year! I wish everything could be sooner and I wish that it would could get more information.

  32. Adeona says:

    Yahooo! News! Many thanks to Icarus!

    Well, I'm glad to hear the Dufflepuds will be their proper size, etc. And so far as I've seen, I like their looks.
    Less then a month to go till the first footage is released!

  33. KingSkandartheJust says:

    You really think so? Why not? I mean CG is great it makes things look real. Having fake out doors by CG bugs me but when it comes to something like dufflepuds and animals they work really hard at making it look as real as it can be. Besides the actors probably are happier wearing green pants instead of a ton of make-up.

  34. Shy Galadriel says:

    Niiiiiice little people! I was really hoping for that… OH WILL THERE NEVER BE ANY TRAILER???!!!

  35. I'm happy this guy is playing Chief Dufflepad! he seems very good. Only a few more months XD see you on opening day!


  36. martin the warrior says:

    but in the future the always get better coputers and will hae better graphics they can use. like star wars that was the best but nowa days we can do some many amazing things to make things look real. so if they do CG now. im thinking in the future there is going to be better CG and then it will get out dated.

  37. MurtaghLuv says:

    really it took 24 hour to do it all. well I guess it makes sense I mean the are really freaky looking.
    I can not wait for december now.

  38. QueenAravis14 says:

    Maybe they will have a trailer in MAY! That would be awesome! They need to have one soon though! 😀

  39. Warrior 4 Jesus says:

    I expect you're right. Her face really lit up when Roy Billing mentioned Narnia. Not to mention her comments, 'that's fabulous' etc. not picked up by the microphone. Either she's a fan of Narnia or she's a good actress. I'm guessing the former.

  40. RuralNarniaFan says:

    I'm sorry, I wasn't aware of the polite term for our Dear Little Friends. I hope I didn't offend anyone. 😉

    However, I have to disagree with what you said:
    >>to say they "tend to be wider than normal people" is borderline offensive IMO.<<

    Most Little People have Disproportionate Dwarfism. This means that their heads and torsos are normal size and proportions, just their limbs are smaller. This is what causes their abnormal pace in walking. It's also probably why the chose to cast normal-height actors and shrink them.

    Proportionate Dwarfism unfortunately usually limits mental capacity, but it's much more rare than Disproportionate, and is obviously not the case with our Dear Little Friends.

  41. Sean M says:

    It's like in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, how Alfonso Cuaron did some things differently than Chris Columbus. I.E., Filius Flitwick's haircut, the "whoo" when spells were cast, the shutter fade outs. Maybe Michael Apted is just going for a different effect for the dwarves (and by that I mean dwarves as a mythological race), or just prefers using digital shrinking to using actors who are actually that size.

  42. Alambil and Tarvis says:

    Well, considering that in LOTR Rhys-Davies was digitally shrunk for Gimli (and that man is pretty tall), I wasn't particularly concerned when they cast "normal-sized" people for the Dufflepuds in the first place.

  43. Cara says:

    exactly!!!! im just hoping when they aren't invisible anymore that they will look somewhat how i imagened them when i read the book!