There and back again

18:45, Nov 27 2012
Jeremy Downing
MY PRECIOUS: Former Embassy cinema manager Jeremy Downing, with a replica of the One Ring made by jewellers Jens Hansen, which he will wear at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

A former cinema manager from Nelson is making an unexpected journey of his own, returning to the Embassy cinema in Wellington to meet and greet with the stars at tonight’s Hobbit premiere.

Downing Design account manager Jeremy Downing is in Wellington for tonight’s star-studded premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Mr Downing, who studied film and theatre studies at university, was a junior manager at the Embassy Theatre for two years, and his former boss last week invited him to return for the premiere of the film.

He will be there to welcome guests, act as an usher, and generally be the ‘‘go-to person’’.

Mr Downing will fit in with the crowd, as he will be wearing a replica of the One Ring, lent by jewellers Jens Hansen  ‘‘It’s my precious,’’ he said.

Being part of the premiere was ‘‘a dream’’.


‘‘I’m a massive Lord of the Rings fan, and I remember sitting at home ...and watching TV and thinking I would love to be there.’’

He was particularly looking forward to seeing Cate Blanchett, who will reprise her role as elf queen Galadriel, and other international stars.

‘‘I’m a massive The Office fan so seeing Martin Freeman [playing Bilbo Baggins] is going to be quite exciting.’’

He was also thrilled to be meeting director Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop head Richard Taylor.

But although rubbing shoulders with the Hobbit stars would be great, he was just as excited about reconnecting with his former co-workers.

He was not yet sure whether he would be able to see the film on the night, but said if he did, he would be sworn to secrecy after signing a confidentiality agreement.

Mr Downing had been offered a job on the Hobbit. He would have helped with the armoury, making sure that various characters were wearing their armour correctly.

At the time he was offered the job he had just moved back to Nelson from Wellington, and was not prepared to turn around and move back.

It was great that he was still able to be involved in the premiere, and had the chance to be surprised by the film.

‘‘I quite like the fact that I don’t really know what’s going on.’