Black Books star Bill Bailey wants to play a dwarf in The Hobbit.
Bailey, who is bringing his comedy show Bill Bailey Live to Wellington in June, told The Dominion Post he had auditioned for the part of Gloin the dwarf in The Lord of the Rings prequel.
"I went along for a read-through of The Hobbit. The first read-through was for Gloin," he said from London.
Bailey, who can be seen in television series Skins and the movie Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, joked that he didn't need any makeup to be a convincing dwarf. "I saved myself a few quid over here."
Gloin is the father of Gimli the dwarf, who was played by Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies in Sir Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. In The Hobbit Gloin is one of 13 dwarfs who persuade Bilbo Baggins the hobbit to accompany them to reclaim treasure held by Smaug the dragon.
The comedian, who performs in Wellington on June 24, was still waiting to hear back from the two-part film's director, Guillermo del Toro. "I think The Hobbit is going to be filmed around the time I'm there. But I don't know – you never know with these things. I'll certainly be around."
Coincidentally, six days after Bailey, Sir Ian McKellen – who has said he will reprise his role of Gandalf the wizard in The Hobbit – will be in Wellington to perform in Waiting for Godot.
Former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating said last month that he also auditioned for a part in The Hobbit and it is understood many actors from around the world have auditioned. Neither del Toro or Sir Peter have confirmed or officially announced any of The Hobbit cast, or when shooting will begin.
Andy Serkis, who has said he will reprise his role as Gollum, said this week that he believed shooting would not begin until late this year.
The Dominion Post understands this is partly because of the sale of MGM, one of The Hobbit backers, and a decision on whether to film it in 3-D.
A spokesman for Sir Peter said pre-production on the film was continuing in Wellington, but they had no other announcement to make at this stage.
- The Dominion Post