‘Hobbit: Five Armies’: Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug

Dec. 12, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.
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Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Ken Stott as Balin in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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John Bell as Bain and Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Dean O'Gorman and Aidan Turner in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Smaug, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Lee Pace as Thranduil and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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The orc Azog, voiced by Manu Bennett, appears in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Hugo Weaving as Elrond in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Billy Connolly as Dain in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard, Mary Nesbitt as Tilda, Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid and John Bell as Bain in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid and Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Bolg, performed by John Tui, in a scene from "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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The Keeper of the Dungeons, performed by Conan Stevens, in a scene from "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Mary Nesbitt as Tilda, Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid and John Bell as Bain in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Todd Eyre / Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Todd Eyre / Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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The orc Azog, voiced by Manu Bennett, appears in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Ken Stott as Balin, left, and Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Lee Pace as Thranduil in the fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros.)

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Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf, left, and Luke Evans as Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/ Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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John Callen as Oin, Dean O'Gorman as Fili, Aidan Turner as Kili, William Kircher as Bifur, James Nesbitt as Bofur, Adam Brown as Ori, Jed Brophy as Nori, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Ken Stott as Balin and Stephen Hunter as Bombur in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Todd Eyre / Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage as Thorin and Martin Freeman as Bilbo in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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The Keeper of the Dungeons, performed by Conan Stevens, in a scene from "'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Luke Evans as Bard, left, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Jed Brophy as Nori, Ken Stott as Balin, John Callen as Oin, Dean O'Gorman as Fili, William Kircher as Bifur, Aidan Turner as Kili, Adam Brown as Ori, Peter Hambleton as Gloin, Mark Hadlow as Dori, Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Stephen Hunter as Bombur in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Director Peter Jackson, center, and Martin Freeman on the set of the fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros.)

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Peter Jackson, left, and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Warner Bros.)

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Peter Jackson, left, Luke Evans and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (Mark Pokorny/ Warner Bros.)

The villainous dragon Smaug brought fire, smoke and more than a few zings to “The Colbert Report” as Stephen Colbert’s guest on Thursday’s episode of the Comedy Central show.

Colbert, an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” introduced Smaug as “the last great fire-drake of the Third Age.”

“My guest tonight has armor like tenfold shields, teeth like swords, claws like spears, a tail like a thunderbolt, wings like a hurricane and breath like death,” Colbert said, quoting Smaug’s self-description in Tolkien’s writing. “Though he might want to leave that last part off his Tinder profile.”

Smaug then makes his CG appearance, thundering through the wall of Colbert’s stage and bellowing, “The chiefest and greatest of calamities is in the house!”

Smaug, of course, is the evil and greedy antagonist in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy based on Tolkien’s book. The character was played through performance-capture technology by Benedict Cumberbatch, who has described his childhood love of the character and his experience trying to physically embody the vast creature.

Toward the end of “Smaug,” the film’s diminutive hero Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) looked on in horror as the villainous dragon, ready to take flight from the Lonely Mountain, proclaimed: “I will show you revenge!”

Benedict Cumberbatch arrives for the European premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in Berlin on Dec. 9, 2013. (Gero Breloer / Associated Press)

Benedict Cumberbatch arrives for the European premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in Berlin on Dec. 9, 2013. (Gero Breloer / Associated Press)

The final film in the saga “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” in theaters next week, picks up with the vengeful dragon’s fiery assault on Lake-town. Colbert showed a clip, which debuted on Hero Complex, of the action-packed scene, which pits Smaug against a bow-and-arrow-wielding Bard (Luke Evans) on the rooftops of the burning town.

In the “Colbert Report” segment, the host feigned fear that Smaug would devour him.

“You needn’t worry. You’re my last interview of the day. I’ve already filled up on the ladies of ‘The View,’ and my, weren’t they a feast,” the dragon intones, picking his teeth with a claw.

Colbert painted the dragon as a fellow right-wing voter.

“I think you and I have a lot in common,” Colbert tells Smaug. “We both live in gated communities, and we’re both fiscal conservatives who sleep on giant piles of money.”

“Quite right,” the dragon agrees. “Time to return to the gold standard. Rand Paul, 2016! Yeah! Get some, Rand!”

And when Colbert takes the dragon to task for his evil deeds, including destroying Dale, invading Erebor and stealing its treasures, Smaug blames “typical liberal Hollywood bias” for his part in the films.

“It’s hard for conservatives to get good roles in this town,” Smaug explains. “That’s why Kelsey Grammer and I are always up for the same part.”

(Comedy Central)

(Comedy Central)

Colbert then accuses Smaug of “playing the dragon card,” and points to other, more beloved dragons.

“I am talking about real dragons, not one of those khaleesi-whipped lap lizards from ‘Game of Thrones,'” Smaug spits. “I am an old-school wyrm keeping it real, yo, doing what dragons do. Boom! I am the original raider. I invented the hostile takeover. I take your treasure! I drink your milkshake!”

The segment also included a comical bit in which Smaug bemoans the amount of CG scenes in films, showing a picture of the dragon donning motion capture gear and confessing he “spent most of the movie reciting lines to a tennis ball on a stick, and I’m not even talking about Orlando Bloom.”

And, as is to be expected, Smaug leaves the studio in flames.

“The Battle of the Five Armies” opens Dec. 17.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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