The Press Online
September 8, 1998

Elf Turns Up for Tolkien Role
Peter Mathias

One Christchurch man feels he is ideally suited to star in film-maker Peter Jackson's $260 million adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

He turned up at the Act Now casting company's offices in Cranmer Square, announced his interest in appearing in the film, and declared he was an elf.

The film trilogy is an epic tale of the adventures of several hobbits -- creatures just over 1m tall.

Act Now spokeswoman Anne Fahey said the elfin would-be film star was appropriately clad in green tights, offset by gumboots.

Hundreds of other people had approached the agency offering their services as actors or extras, she said.

Jackson's Wellington-based WingNut Films has been approached by thousands of people from New Zealand and overseas who want to be involved in the project.

Producer Tim Sanders said a Wellington man with expertise in elvish -- a language developed by Tolkien in his books -- had offered his services as a translator.

He said the man was a student of, or lecturer in, English literature and his offer was legitimate. He had made a study of elvish and was able to read and write it.

Mr Sanders said WingNut had been inundated with approaches from people who wanted to be involved in the film.

Inquiries had been running at 200 a day when the project was announced last month and were now steady, about 100 a day.

Some were from prospective actors and extras, others offered their services as crew, or advice on possible locations.

A US-based Internet website dealing in Hollywood news and gossip received 14,000 responses in the 36 hours after publicising the film.

"It is the biggest thing that has ever happened to them," Mr Sanders said.

Lord of the Rings will employ 15,000 extras, 50 New Zealand actors for speaking parts, and 300 crew.

Filming will take place in Fiordland, Milford Sound, Queenstown, and Central Otago.