Monday, June 6, 2016

David Wenham

David Wenham is an Australian actor.  He has worked extensively in both film and television.  He is probably best known for portraying Faramir in The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003).

Some fun facts:

  • He was born September 1, 1965
  • He has five older siblings
  • He was raised a Roman Catholic and went to Christian Brothers' High School
  • He graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987
  • He has acted with the Melbourne Theatre Company and has acted in the Sydney Opera House
  • He has three daughters 
  • After one of his co-stars (Steve Irwin) passed away, he read a poem at the memorial
  • He is set to have a role in the fifth Pirates of the Carribean movie alongside former co-star Orlando Bloom
In The Two Towers and The Return of the King

I had a couple minor problems with Faramir in the movies, some of which were not David Wenham's fault.  The first was very petty and I may be the only one who actually cared about this at all, but I was disappointed to see that Faramir had very light hair.  I distinctly recall a passage about Faramir's "raven" hair and Eowyn's golden hair blowing in the wind.  Since he is of the line of Numenor, it would only make sense that he would have dark hair.  But, like I said, it's not a major problem.  

I did, however have one other problem with his character which was rather major.  I didn't like how Faramir decided to take the Ring.  I understand that the film makers needed to be consistent with their portrayal of the temptation of the Ring, but something I really admired about Faramir was his resistance.  
“But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.” (The Return of the King)
Compare that passage from the book to this quote from the movie:
"A chance for Faramir, captain of Gondor, to show his quality...The Ring will go to Gondor."
Like I said, I understand that movie Faramir was under pressure from Denethor to take Boromir's place, but I think he really lost a lot of his character and what made him respectable.  Obviously he repented and gave the Ring back, but that moment of weakness (not to mention complete book-contradiction) has always bothered me.

I feel like this change would really have let Professor Tolkien down.  Tolkien even said once: “As far as any character is ‘like me’ it is Faramir.” (Letters, 232)

As for David Wenham's actual performance itself, I think everyone did a really great job all around acting in the films.  I don't think he was the best performer out of the highly-skilled cast, but he certainly had some lines which were tear-jerkers.  Here are some of my favorites:

Obviously this is not Faramir, but I love this entire scene with Boromir and Faramir--it really shows that Boromir cared about his little brother.  Also, can we just stop and appreciate this amazing gif?  It's so beautiful.

And this scene with Pippin is *wipes eyes* perfection.

Other Work

The only other film I have seen David Wenham in is The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) which stars Steve and Terri Irwin.  As far as the overall quality of the film, it was sometimes cheesy but it did feature some cool scenes were Steve Irwin showed off his dangerous animal handling skills.

David Wenham in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
When Steve Irwin passed away, David Wenham read a poem called The Crocodiles are Crying at his memorial:


  1. I agree with you on Faramir's portrayal in the movies. Overall, I loved him because he's always been one of my favorite characters- but I was disappointed that they had him take the ring because that was such a huge part of his character in the books.

    If you want to see a very good movie featuring David Wenham, I would recommend "Australia", starring Hugh Jackman (who, incidentally, looks a lot like Richard Armitage). It's one of my favorites; however it does have one seen that we skip and one line that we mute. Check out the IMDB page if you're unsure. It's definitely worth a watch though! David Wenham does a very good job in his role. :D

    1. Ah, looks interesting. I do like Hugh Jackman--looks like it could be good! Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Yes, yes YES! Faramir is one of the main reasons I felt the LOTR movies sucked all the nobility and heroism out of the characters. Faramir was just the most egregious example.

    1. Definitely--the films advocate more for relatability rather than heroism. Especially in Faramir's case I think it is definitely a fault of the films.