Martin Freeman and a bunch of other actors were in Wellington, New Zealand yesterday for a press conference of “The Hobbit”, reports The Dominion Post. The ex-patriated Brit will be spending the duration of the long-haul shoot living on location. But Freeman has already been made to feel very welcome in his new home: “It is genuinely loving. People are bending over backwards to look after us, and they’re really, really appreciative of the fact that those of us that left family behind… and are starting new families here.”
A shot of the primary cast has also been released. Although they’re not in costume, it is nice to see so many solid character actors assembled for Peter Jackson’s sure-to-be-epic two-part prequel to his “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy.
The cast from right to left are: Martin Freeman (far right) as Bilbo Baggins, Graham McTavish (in white shirt) as Dwalin, Robert Kazinksy (seated, blue tee) as Fili, Jed Brophy (chequered open shirt) as Nori, James Nesbitt (seated, chequered shirt) as Bofur, Stephen Hunter (black tee) as Bombur, William Kircher (grey shirt) as Bifur, and Aidan Turner (seated, far left) as Kili. In case you don’t recognise those names, they’re from the company of 13 dwarves that accompany Bilbo on his Ring quest.
“The Hobbit” starts filming in New Zealand on 21st March, at a reported budget of US$500 million (including the as-yet untitled 2nd film).