The Sunday Star Times
March 11, 2000Lord,
It's Leonard of the Rings
Former Shortland Street star Marton Csokas has scored one of
the world's most sought after film roles -- playing Cate Blanchett's screen husband in
Lord of the Rings.
Publicist Claire Raskind confirmed to the Sunday Star Times
Csokas had been cast in the role of Celeborn in Peter Jackson's $360 million film project.
In J.R.R. Tolkien's classic trilogy the silver-haired
Celeborn, King of the Elves, is married to Galadriel, to be played by Blanchett.
Csokas, a former music television presenter, played the bumbling Dr Leonard Dodds on
Shortland Street. More recently he has been acting on stage, including a stint in
Csokas will be playing opposite the stunning Blanchett, 30,
one of Hollywood's most in demand stars.
The Australian actress won a Golden Globe and was nominated
for an Academy Award for best actress for her title role in Elizabeth. She can currently
be seen on New Zealand screens in The Talented Mr Ripley opposite Matt Damon and Gwyneth
Paltrow. Csokas joins fellow former Street star Craig Parker in the Rings project. Parker
is understood to have already filmed scenes for a small role.
Meanwhile, two other stars have slipped into Wellington to
start work on Rings. Raskind confirmed Australian actors Hugo Weaving and Miranda Otto had
arrived in New Zealand. It is understood Weaving started filming his first scenes last
week. Weaving's film credits include The Matrix, with Keanu Reeves, but he is probably
best known in this country for his role as Mitzi in The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of
the Desert, the Australian film about drag queens. Weaving has been cast to play Elrond.
He has been spotted at Festival 2000 performances with fellow star Elijah Wood.
Otto, who has just finished a film with Harrison Ford and
Michelle Pfieffer, also had a part in The Thin Red Line. She will play Eowyn. Meanwhile,
film distributors were reportedly impressed at the three-minute sneak preview shown in the
US recently. A mixture of edited footage and behind the scenes video images was screened
at ShoWest, a presentation for powerful cinema owners. "Everyone's really excited, it
was the first peek the public had had," Raskind said.
It is understood former film critic Costa Botes is working
for Jackson as a video diarist, filming the behind the scenes footage. Raskind said studio
bosses from New Line Cinema, the film's backers, had visited New Zealand distributors.
Csokas was coy when contacted by the Sunday Star Times
yesterday. He accepted congratulations but said he could not comment without approval from