TORONTO — Evangeline Lilly said she was worried how fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would react to her inclusion in the second chapter of the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, since her character does not appear in the book.
“I’m a big Tolkien fan and I knew that fans would be up in arms about it so I had to consider whether or not I wanted to be under that kind of scrutiny,” said Lilly.
Woodland Elf Tauriel was added to the story by director Peter Jackson and co-writer Fran Walsh.
“Peter Jackson has just really earned the right to be Tolkien’s torchbearer on screen,” Lilly said during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show to promote the Dec. 13 release. “In my mind, I just trusted him absolutely and he hasn’t let me down. Watching the film, I was really proud to be a part of it.”
Lilly, 34, was born in Fort Saskatchewan and raised in B.C. She shot to fame as Kate Austen in the TV series Lost, which ran from 2004 to 2010.
Lilly welcomed her son Kahekili with boyfriend Norman Kali in May 2011 — shortly before taking on the physical demands of playing Tauriel.
“I started this job three months after giving birth to my first child so I was not nearly as athletic as I would have liked to have been at that point in my life,” she recalled, “but then we came back and did reshoots when he was 2 years old, and by that time I felt like I was able to vindicate myself physically because I had gotten my strength back.”
Lilly said she enjoyed doing her own stunt work in The Desolation of Smaug, “although I have to say because I still had ‘mommy brain’ there was nothing aggressive in me.
“I was a big ball of mush.”