"Gollum is never really gone too far away from me because he's indelibly kind of printed into my DNA now, I think. I'll tell you what was weird is going back and playing a character that has been so sort of absorbed into public consciousness that you almost don't feel like you own it anymore. And to sort of gather it back, I mean, I did feel, I think, probably in the first couple of days going back into it that I was sort of doing a weird impersonation of him rather than being him because there have been so many spoofs and people's impersonations and so on, and some people's impersonations are really great. And I'm kind of thinking, 'Oh gosh, that's how to do it, yeah.' And you know, then you get back into it. Meaningfully getting back into it was really exciting."
The actor also talked about how doing Gollum's voice 'thrashed' his vocal chords in the original trilogy, and revealed his recipe for "Gollum Juice."
"I think my vocal chords are so thrashed that I don't really feel anything anymore there. During Lord of the Rings, I used to have to drink tons of what we call Gollum juice, which was lemon and honey and ginger. And actually when I went back to do The Hobbit this time, to reprise the role, I did, probably kind of more romantically and sort of nostalgically, get people to whip up a few bowls of Gollum juice which I used to drink. But it doesn't really hurt, to be honest, anymore."
"Peter has just been the most phenomenal mentor, supporter, friend, collaborator. I cherish working with him so much, and this incredible journey that he's sort of set me off on, really. Because I'm working on The Hobbit not only as Gollum, but I'm directing the second unit. I actually went down there for two weeks to reprise the role of Gollum, and I basically stayed for a year to direct the second unit. So that's thrilling. I'm really, really enjoying that and getting a chance to work with him from another angle. I'm being his kind of eyes and years for the second unit, really. We've just been on location for two months shooting the most beautiful places in New Zealand. That's been extraordinary. I love working with Pete, and everything that he's created at WETA. The whole team, the whole outfit in New Zealand in Wellington, is a very, very special, wonderful place that I keep willingly returning to."
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released December 14th, 2012 and stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter. The film is directed by Peter Jackson.