Otago Daily Times
Frodo Gets a Kiss

Otago Daily Times
July 25, 2000

It Was the Stuff Teenage Dreams Are Made Of
Staff Reporter

Wanaka teenagers Michelle Chave (14) and Erika Burke (15) became the envy of females worldwide last night when they stole kisses from Hollywood heart-throb Elijah Wood.

After waiting for an hour to catch a glimpse of the Lord of the Rings star – a guest of honour at the Queenstown Winter Festival Hollywood Ball – they lived their dreams and pecked the star's cheeks.

Wood (18) was happy to meet the pair. He made their night, week, month and year.

"I can't describe it, it's just like, aahhhhh," said a flushed Michelle. "He is a total babe, the biggest babe in babe history. This is the best day of my life. It will be better than my wedding . . . unless I marry Elijah."

Erika was just as thrilled. While stars such as Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom and Dominic Monaghan left other ball-goers starstruck, she had eyes only for Elijah.

"I'm all flustered. My head is spinning," she said.

Wood, who plays Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy, has starred in films such as The Faculty, Deep Impact and Flipper.

He was thrilled to be back in Queenstown after filming there last year and did not mind the teens' attention.

"This is cool. This is such a cool town. The last time we were here was during the floods, so it's nice to be in the town now it has been put back together," he said.

Astin, star of The Goonies and Memphis Belle, was excited to be at the festival and said Queenstown provided the perfect setting for Lord of the Rings .

"It's as though Tolkien walked from Invercargill to Auckland and sat down to write this trilogy," he said.

"This film has been the greatest experience of my life."

And it was certainly the greatest experience of Michelle and Erika's lives. While the actors were looking forward to filming on Monday, the teens were looking forward to school. "We are going to tell everyone. They are going to be all so jealous," Erica said