One of the stars of Sir Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is going on an unexpected journey a decade after he left New Zealand.
Billy Boyd, who played Pippin the hobbit in The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, will appear at the Armageddon comics, fantasy and science fiction expo in Auckland next month, nearly 10 years since he left the country.
"I can't believe it but I haven't actually been back to New Zealand since the Return of the King premiere," Boyd said from his home in Scotland.
"Most of the boys have been back. We've all had plans to get back as a group, you know, Dom (Monaghan) and Elijah (Wood), but the timing has never worked for me."
Boyd hopes to arrive a few days ahead of the October 25-28 event at ASB Showgrounds and said it would be something of a homecoming.
"I am going to try and spend as much time as I can . . . but I am certainly going to have a look around the northern island. Hobbiton will definitely be one of the trips . . . after the first films they set fire to Hobbiton, it will be lovely to go back there again. Mt Ruapehu I really enjoyed as well. It's beautiful, eh. What's that famous surf spot near Hamilton? Raglan? The last time I was there, I split my face open. It was the day before the first-ever shot of the four hobbits together for Vanity Fair magazine."
Before his return, Boyd is appearing at the Globe Theatre, London, in Macbeth.
Boyd will also return to New Zealand in November with the other half of his The Lord of the Rings double act Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry the Hobbit.
"Dom's got this really fun show about animals called Wild Things with Dom Monaghan and I'm going to come back to New Zealand to do an episode and we're going to find a weta so, after not being there for a few years, I'm going twice in a month."
Unsurprisingly he'd like to come back, again, for a role in the Doctor Who episode Sir Peter said he would like to direct. "Can you imagine if PJ directed DW; it would be amazing, incredible, it's not overblowing it . . . off the top of my head I would think it would be First World War with some crazy aliens in it. I would like to see it, I'd love to see it, I'd like to be a bomber pilot in it."