Capital returns to Middle-earth

Last updated 19:47 09/12/2013
Hobbit stars
KEVIN STENT/ Fairfax NZ

HOBBIT FAMILY: Stars turned out for the Wellington event.

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The stars - and the dwarves, hobbits and elves - were out for tonight's New Zealand premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The charity event was noticeably quieter than last year's event, when fans stood ten deep to catch a glimpse of the red carpet. But  Hobbit actor Jed Brophy said that gave tonight more of a family feel.

At the premiere with his wife and two sons, the Taihape local said the night gave him a chance to reunite with members of his "dwarf family" as well, six of whom attended.

"I'd like to think that we're coming back next year to do some re-shoots - we really miss each other."

He was joined by John Callen (Oin), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Stephen Hunter (Bombur) and William Kircher (Bifur). 

Brophy had not yet seen the full version of the movie, in which he played dwarf Nori. He was particularly excited to see how the barrel scene, filmed on the Pelorus River, looked on screen.

‘‘It was the most fun I've had doing anything."

While it would have cost a dragon’s horde to get your hands on a ticket to last year’s Hobbit premiere in Wellington, tonight’s cost as little as $100.

The charity screening at the Embassy Theatre raised proceeds for the Island Bay Marine Education Centre.

The aquarium was selected by the filmmakers, including director Peter Jackson, who was overseas and could not attend tonight.

The movie premiered in Los Angeles last week. The star-studded event at the Dolby theatre was attended by Orlando Bloom, Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Desolation of Smaug is Jackson’s second instalment of the planned trilogy based on Tolkien children’s novel The Hobbit, and would be out on general release from Thursday.

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