Hob­bit’s happy new ear

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

Free­man says ‘‘noth­ing seems weird’’ af­ter spend­ing time on the set of The Hob­bit: An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney. The Bri­tish ac­tor por­trays lead char­ac­ter Bilbo Bag­gins in the three­part fran­chise, which is helmed by leg­endary di­rec­tor Peter Jack­son. The story is based on the ad­ven­tures of mys­ti­cal Mid­dle-earth crea­tures and Free­man quickly adapted to the strange characters roam­ing around on set. ‘‘No (it wasn’t pe­cu­liar see­ing hob­bits walking around), be­cause by then the pe­cu­liar be­comes nor­mal,’’ he says. ‘‘Noth­ing seemed weird any more at the end of 18 months. Watch­ing orcs have lunch in their dress­ing gowns and dwarfs tak­ing their beards off while they ate their soup – noth­ing was weird.’’ The 41-year-old al­most missed out on the part, as he was al­ready signed to Bri­tish tele­vi­sion se­ries Sher­lock. But the shoot­ing sched­ule was changed so he could join The Hob­bit cast and the star can re­mem­ber the moment it hit home he had scored such a mas­sive role. ‘‘I think (when) it (hit me) was when peo­ple were con­grat­u­lat­ing me in the street in Lon­don,’’ he says. ‘‘It was the first time I was be­ing con­grat­u­lated for a job that I hadn’t done yet. All the other stuff is in­cre­men­tal. Get­ting sized up for my feet, go­ing to get a plas­ter cast for my head and my ears, all of that is part of the process, but it takes months.’’ The first movie opens on Box­ing Day, with the next two fol­low­ing in 2013 and 2014 re­spec­tively.

opens on Box­ing Day.

Martin Free­man as Bilbo Bag­gins in

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