Martin Freeman on Richard III: it’s like Shakespeare invented Gollum

As The Hobbit star takes to the stage in new Shakespeare adaptation, he admits his character’s schizophrenic personality is “absolutely Gollum”


Martin Freeman’s journey with The Hobbit comes to an end this Christmas, but he’s found parallels with the trilogy in his current turn as Shakespeare’s Richard III.


Not with his own portrayal of hobbit Bilbo Baggins however, rather a more dark character.

“I’ve just been rehearsing a scene where Richard is having a little diatribe to himself, where his schizophrenic personality comes out,” Freeman tells the Telegraph, “And it’s absolutely Gollum, it’s totally Gollum.

“It’s like Shakespeare invented Gollum 400 years ago.”

‘Wherefore art thou my precious?’ Yep, I can see that.

Freeman’s Richard III forms part of the Trafalgar Transformed season, and the actor says director Jamie Lloyd’s adaptation has cut the famously long play “judiciously”.

“Ours isn’t a futuristic dystopia, it’s an imaginary dystopia from a few decades ago. Twentieth century.”

It seems to be hitting the nail on the head with fans.


“Standing ovations for phenomenal Martin Freeman & Co” Lloyd tweeted earlier in the week, as fans raved about the “must-see” performance.