||The Evening Post
December 11, 2000
Rings Actors Wind
Down at Charity Show
Rings stars joined actors from TV3 series The Tribe at the Embassy theatre in Courtenay Pl yesterday morning to welcome 600 children to a special showing of The Grinch That Stole Christmas.
The Wellywood movie premiere of the Jim Carrey movie was sponsored by 16 children's charities.
The Rings actors, who have spent up to 18 months in New Zealand, will soon shed oversized feet, forswear the Elvish tongue and sheathe their swords.
As elves and wizards left Middle Earth at the end of Tolkien's trilogy, so too will their real-life counterparts leave New Zealand by Christmas.
Manchester-born Dominic Monaghan, the hobbit Merry, said Austria was his first port of call, where he planned to go snowboarding for three weeks with his brother.
The holiday would delay his return to Britain, where the routine of daily life - finding a flat and paying bills - lay in wait. Living in New Zealand was enjoyable, especially getting looked after so well, he said.
While in Wellington, Monaghan lived in an apartment just off Ghuznee St. As for other Rings stars, The Matterhorn, Brava, Eva Dixon's and Chocolate Fish Cafe soon became favourite haunts, he said.
Orlando Bloom, who plays the elf Legolas, said he enjoyed doing things he couldn't do in his native London - surfing, snowboarding, bungy jumping, skydiving.
Now he was at a loss. "I don't know what I'm going to do. It's going to be a shock to the system, arriving in the UK in cold winter weather."
Australian actor John Noble doesn't have so far to travel for Christmas at home. He arrived in Wellington four weeks ago to play Denethor, the steward of Gondor at its capital, Minas Tirith.
"The art department have done the most amazing thing," he said.
A scene in which Denethor throws himself on to a pyre had already been shot, he said. "It's the most exciting project I have been involved in, it's the most popular book of the 20th century."
Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky said the event was a dry run for the world premiere of The Lord Of The Rings. The first of the three films is due to screen in December next year.