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Hobbit director Peter Jackson is the latest film icon to visit China, Xu Fan reports.
Following in the footsteps of Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr, director Peter Jackson is the latest Hollywood filmmaker to promote an upcoming movie in China.
The finale of The Hobbit trilogy, The Battle of Five Armies, will be released across the country on Friday. The film is adapted from British novelist JJ Tolkien’s fantasy best-seller published in 1937.
After spending 17 years on filming the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises, the 53-yearold filmmaker, a New Zealand native, has to say farewell to the mysterious “Middle Earth”. Recently, Jackson shares the moment with hardcore Chinese fans, face to face.
On a tight schedule to promote the fantasy adventure in Beijing from anews conference onMonday to Tuesday’s red-carpet show, Jackson surprises Chinese reporters with his greeting “nihao” (hello), which he reveals tookhimone hour to practice.
His nickname “Peter the Great”, given by Chinese fans, makes the director feel “embarrassed”, but “honored”.
Though he had complained to media at home that the decadelong work of shooting the sametheme movies had been a “nightmare” of constant deadlines, the Oscar-winning director and scriptwriter seems relaxed in his Beijing tour.
“It’s not a normal job. You can’t gohomeat 6 o’clock. But it becomes part of life. You can’t switch it on, or switch it off. (Moviemaking) is a lifestyle. I really enjoy doing that,” he explains, sitting cross-legged during an hourlong interview with nearly 200 Chinese journalists.
Some entertainment tabloids have concluded in a teasing way that the must-ask questions for Western stars include: “Where do you want to go?” “What’s your favorite Chinese food?” and “Who is your most adorable Chinese actor or actress?”
Though Jackson has not shunned such questions — and named the “very pretty” Fan Bingbing as his favorite actress, he moves easily beyond cliches.
With an enamel cup in hand, the symbolic crockery that almost every Chinese used in daily life during the 1970s and ’80s, the director makes a tangible connection with the Chinese audience.
British actor Richard Armitage, sitting next to the director, also seems eager to show his knowledge of Chinese culture.
When asked if his role of Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the Dwarves, has the same personality assameas his, the 44-year-old actor responds with “pigheaded” and makes it clear that he was born in 1971, the Year of Pig in the Chinese zodiac.
“The mythology and