||The Evening Post
December 24, 2000
Rings Under Their
The wrap party marking the end of 15 months filming for director Peter Jackson's $650 million, three-film project was held last night in Shed 21 on Wellington's waterfront with more than 2000 guests enjoying an all-night shindig.
A scrum of media waited outside to catch a glimpse of stars and bit-players alike, but few members of the public took time out from their own festive celebrations to sightsee.
A polite but firmly worded sign spelled out what everyone knew - Private Function. Sorry, no ticket no entry.
Despite The Evening Post receiving a string of offers to buy tickets to the party for up to $1000, there was no sign of security problems.
Arriving in trademark T-shirt and shorts, Jackson declared "it's good to have it done". He was looking forward to a break before cutting the films in the studio early next year.
He was joined for the party by National list MP Max Bradford, Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky and a host of very tired actors.
It's been an intense period for the cast and crew.
Actor Sean Astin, who plays Samwise Gamgee, declared himself "totally and emotionally fried, man".
Producer Barrie Osborne said "it's been quite an experience to have survived the last 15 months".
But perhaps the most well-known star of the movie, Liv Tyler, missed the big do. She was not thought to be in the country.
Orlando Bloom, who plays Legolas, and Dominic Monaghan, who plays Merry, both said they "really wanted to have a big night".
It was a night when everyone could play at being the star.
A constant stream of limousines dropped guests off for the evening, but largely they were behind-the-scenes staff celebrating a long year of long days.
The big-name stars and Jackson arrived in normal taxis.
The first film in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Fellowship Of The Ring, is scheduled for release next December 19. The Two Towers will follow at Christmas 2002, and Return Of The Ring will screen over Christmas 2003.