Actor's family rest and recharge in Taihape

HOBBIT LIFE: Jed Brophy (Nori) with his wife Jolande at the premiere of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug at the Embassy.
HOBBIT LIFE: Jed Brophy (Nori) with his wife Jolande at the premiere of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug at the Embassy.

He may be earning a living by traipsing through the mountain caverns of Middle-earth, but it's the Taihape countryside where Jed Brophy wants his real-life adventures to be set.

The actor, who plays dwarf Nori in The Hobbit movies, brings his family back to Rangitikei each year to camp by the Hautapu River.

"It's the highlight of the year actually, it's the time when we get to go and just actually be at one with nature and away from technology.

"It's fantastic, it's almost like recharging the batteries," said Brophy.

"I feel a real pull. If I win Lotto or if I managed to be in a film that made enough money I'd definitely try and buy land back there in Taihape. That's always been my dream."

When not on set or on stage, Jed teaches at the Toi Whakaari drama school and Whitireia College of Performing Arts in Wellington. He lives in Raumati south with wife Yolande and sons Riley and Sadwyn.

His latest film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, opened at cinemas on Thursday.

Brophy has enjoyed a 22-year professional relationship with Sir Peter Jackson and said The Hobbit had been the most physically demanding role of his career, requiring him to work 14-hour days for two years, often in heavy costume.

Brophy was born at Taihape Hospital in 1963. He attended Mataroa Primary School, where he had his stage debut, aged 7, playing Joseph in a nativity play. Later he boarded at Palmerston North Boys' High School.

Brophy said his upbringing in Mataroa stood him in good stead.

"One of my jobs on The Lord Of The Rings was helping train all the horses. That definitely comes from my background growing up on horseback in the Ruanui Valley," he said.

Brophy's film credits include Braindead and King Kong but he regards Heavenly Creatures as a favourite.

"It's the one where I realised New Zealand films could do more than just be played here in New Zealand. [It was] the first film I was in where they had real international success."

Next up is a two-man play, An Unseasonable Fall of Snow, opening in January and starring Brophy alongside his son Riley. It will tour the country with a Taihape performance possible, he said.

Manawatu Standard