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The cream of the British acting establishment was solicited to play the dwarves in the new and incredible journey of ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’; The characters are portrayed by actors representing a who’s who of British acting masters: Ian McShane (‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’) as Beith, the embittered leader of the clan;
Bob Hoskins (‘Mrs. Henderson Presents’) as Muir, their blind senior statesman; Ray Winstone (‘The Departed’) as Gort, the ill-tempered drunkard; Nick Frost (‘Hot Fuzz’) as Nion, Beith’s right-hand man; Toby Jones (‘Frost/Nixon’) as Coll, the toughest soldier among them; Eddie Marsan (‘Sherlock Holmes’) as Duir, the shadow to Coll; Johnny Harris (‘Atonement’) as Quert, Muir’s musical son; and Brian Gleeson (‘The Eagle’) as Gus, the youngest of the dwarves, who embodies the kingdom’s love for Snow White.
Through a combination of visual effects and old-school trickery, you will believe their size. In casting the dwarves, director Rupert Sanders pulled off a bit of a hat trick with his thespians. He went to each of the potential dwarves separately, with drawings of them as the characters as well as elaborate backstories for these warriors destined to help Snow White upon her journey. He knew that if he could get a meeting with them, his passion would be infectious. Indeed, every single actor said yes.
Sanders walks us through how he was able to attract such talent: “It was almost like casting a British gangster film. I had been working on something in that realm, and these guys were all on my list for that project. When it came to casting the dwarves, I wanted to do something different with them. I needed to find tough guys with big hearts. I wanted them to sing and cry together, and laugh and fight together. They’re a real band of brothers. It’s definitely true that once you cast one, the others start to fall into place.
“I created a hardback bible of imagery that describes the world in great detail—the geography, history, the present conundrum of the kingdom—so they would have a great idea of what the world was like,” the director continues. “Then a lot of it was their trusting me and my sweet-talking them into doing it. The dwarves bring so much to the film. They’re the comical interlude who bring laughs, but they also show another balance of emotion. They’re heartfelt.”
Beith, played by Ian McShane, is the leader of the dwarves. He is an old acquaintance of the Huntsman’s and knows how tricky Eric can be. Nion, played by Nick Frost, is Beith’s right-hand man and a fervent dwarf supremacist who does not trust Snow White, Eric or either of their motives. Gort, played by Ray Winstone, is an ill-tempered, drunken dwarf who abhors most music and will put moss in his ears to drown it (and everyone else) out. Coll, played by Toby Jones, is one of the toughest dwarves and serves his men as if he were a Special Forces soldier.
He and Duir, played by Eddie Marsan, comprise a warrior duo. Alongside his other half, Duir takes out any enemy who dares to mess with dwarfkind. Gus, played by Brian Gleeson, is the youngest of the dwarves and falls in love with Snow White the minute he meets her. The young fiddle player will prove his loyalty when it comes to protecting the savior of his kingdom.
The last two dwarves are a father and son. Muir, played by Bob Hoskins, is blind. A wise seer and spiritual leader of his clan, he is certain that Snow White is pure of heart and has been chosen to heal the land ravaged by Ravenna. He believes that the young princess is destined to become the face of promise for the kingdom. Finally, his son, Quert, played by Johnny Harris, guides his father. Quert sings Celtic ballads with a heartbreaking voice and is an accomplished musician.
Indeed, many of the actors portraying the dwarves have worked with one another before, and McShane returns to work with one of his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ co-stars, Sam Claflin, for this film. McShane sums the team’s thoughts on this project: “The story itself is a great one: It’s magical, brutal, sexy and very different to any other epic I’ve been involved with so far. It’s an intelligent script, and the visual qualities that Rupert and his team bring to it will be extraordinary.”
Producer Sam Marsan jokes that Sanders might have reassessed his excitement during postproduction: “Rupert bit off more than he could chew when the dwarves turned up on set. We were like a bunch of naughty schoolboys who just created havoc. It’s the character. It just makes you quite mischievous, quite bawdy and quite rude.”
Image Courtesy of http://www.snowwhiteandthehuntsman.com/