Lord of the Rings star didn’t reveal on-set panic attack as it would have cost too much to remove prosthetics

Jacob Stolworthy
·2 min read
Lord of the Rings (New Line Cinema)
Lord of the Rings (New Line Cinema)

A Lord of the Rings Orc actor has revealed that they had a panic attack while filming due to the prosthetics they had to wear.

Stephen Ure, who played Grishnak in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), recalled “hyperventilating” and losing the ability to swallow, unbeknownst to his co-stars around him, while filming a key battle scene.

“The more the panic is coming the worse it is,” Ure told Thrillist. “I’d never really experienced a panic like that. I was maybe three seconds away from ripping the face off so I could breathe. No one can tell because I’m under all that stuff.”

Fortunately, after regaining his composure, he found he could swallow again, adding that “nobody knew anything”.

Ure said he had been hesitant to remove the prosthetics as it would have cost the production team too much money.

“That was my own little episode,” he said. “I was completely freaked out for a minute. That could have been terrible. If I had ripped that face off then that’s the day gone. That would have cost tens of thousands of dollars.”​

Ure, who had previously appeared as another Orc in 2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring, said the prosthetics had been done so well that nobody recognised him at the wrap party when the trilogy wrapped filming.

Orc actor Stephen Ure had a panic attack underneath his prostheticsNew Line cinema
Orc actor Stephen Ure had a panic attack underneath his prostheticsNew Line cinema

“I’d been working on all three films, and I knew people, I found myself just standing there in the corner alone because nobody knew who I was,” he said.

“At the time it took four and half hours to put the makeup on. I’d have to go in at 2am. By the time I was halfway through at half past five when people started arriving, I was already unrecognisable.”

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