Did Gimli cause Jackson's ulcer?

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 16:08 08/04/2011
MARCUS WILD

Stuff's reader chat with John Rhys-Davies, the Welsh actor who played Gimli in Sir Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and Sallah in two Indiana Jones films.

John Rhys-Davies
HENRY COOKE/Stuff
John Rhys-Davies answering questions during the livechat.

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Veteran actor John Rhys-Davies believes his offer to make an appearance in The Hobbit may have caused Peter Jackson's stomach ulcer.

The 66-year-old Lord of the Rings star said he initially told Jackson he wouldn't be returning to Middle Earth as the dwarf Gimli, but later had a change of heart.

"The other day when I realised it was about to start a little shiver of regret went through me," he said.

"So I called Peter Jackson's assistant and said, 'If there was anything or even just an excuse to come down do let me know...'

"PJ promptly collapsed and was admitted to hospital, I never heard back.

"I didn't think I was that bad!"

The Welsh-born star, who has appeared in dozens of films, plays and TV shows is in Wellington this weekend for the Armageddon expo.

During a live chat with readers, he told Stuff.co.nz despite his love of his work and long film history, he had a life outside showbiz too.

"I'm a little bit more than a career. I enjoy flying. Strike that, chasing pretty girls," he said.

"I love projects. I love a good safari. Films are fun but life is much richer," he said.

Rhys-Davies also revealed he may be spending more time in New Zealand.

The actor has a home near Huntly with his partner and former Good Morning host Lisa Manning and their four-year-old daughter, but previously spent a lot of time on the Isle of Man.

His wife Suzanne Wilkinson, who suffered from Alzheimer's, lived on the island in a nursing home. She died in August last year.

"And I am now more free to spend time here, or wherever the next job demands," he said.

Rhys-Davies said he looked forward to meeting fans at the weekend's expo and encouraged punters to head along.

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