Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson once considered going to extreme lengths so he could experience the trilogy like a regular fan. In a recent episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, the director revealed that he looked into getting hypnotherapy so he could watch the movies as if he had never worked on them.
During the conversation, Jackson described the frustration he sometimes felt about not being able to see the films like the average moviegoer. “When we did the Lord of the Rings movies, I always felt I was the unlucky person who never got to see [them] as a coming-out-of-the-blue film,” he explained. “By the time they were screening, I was immersed in it for five or six years. It was such a loss for me to not be able to see them like everyone else.”
He continued, “I actually did seriously consider going to some hypnotherapy guy to hypnotize me to make me forget about the films and the work I had done over the last six or seven years so I could sit and enjoy them. I didn’t follow through with it, but I did talk to [British mentalist] Derren Brown about that and he thought he could do it.”
Derren Brown is a celebrity illusionist who has been upfront about using hypnosis — along with magic and memory — as one of the pillars of his performances. While Brown says on his website’s FAQ that he doesn’t take “one-to-one sessions,” it appears he would have made an exception for Jackson.
Regardless, the likelihood of Brown actually helping Jackson forget nearly a decade of obsession over Lord of the Rings is near impossible. In an interview with The Washington Post, Los Angeles-based hypnotherapist Ava Evans said, “To forget about a strong memory like forgetting a movie you directed, I believe that would be unlikely using hypnotherapy.”
At least Jackson will be able to enjoy Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series without having to wipe his memory. Elsewhere in the podcast, Jackson said he initially was contacted by Amazon Studios to be involved with the show, but they never followed up after he asked to see a script.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Friday, September 2nd on Amazon Prime Video. In the meantime, be sure to check out our guide to the cast and characters. Revisit the latest trailer here.