IGN FilmForce
February 16, 2001

Breaking Bread with Denizens of Middle-earth
Staff Reporter

The air is crisp on this, a rather routine Tuesday morning. The sky blankets the horizon in a bleak, shimmering azure blue fairly devoid of clouds and eschewing any visible traces of ozone depleting haze. In the distance, an East Bay mountain range displays snow capped peaks which rise into the atmosphere and seem to gaze with whitewashed command over the faraway suburban landscape.

This is not your typical February weather, even for the temperate West Coast. Something is definitely in the air. But then this is not your typical February afternoon, either. I mean it's not every day that you get invited to dine with a coupla denizens of Middle-earth.

Alright, I didn't really get to sup with some Middle-earthians, but I did chow down with actor Karl Urban and director Harry Sinclair, two New Zealanders who just happen to be in Peter Jackson's big screen version of the Tolkienian epic.

Urban and Sinclair are in town promoting the latter's new romantic fairy tale The Price of Milk. And they're not alone. They have the striking Danielle Cormack in tow. Ms. C is best known to us Yanks for her recurring role as Ephiny on Xena. As for Mr. Urban, well he's usually recognized as either Caesar or Cupid from both Xena and Hercules. And some may recall Mr. Sinclair as Roger the butcher in Brain Dead (that's Dead Alive to us US of A folks).

But I digress. As I mentioned before, we were experiencing rather unusually pleasant weather on this particular Tuesday (February 13, to be exact) so lunching outside in San Francisco's historic North Beach sector was the way to go. And since we were all cinephiles of varying degrees, eating at Francis Ford Coppola's Niebaum-Coppola restaurant seemed the perfect thing to do. After our somewhat swarthy waiter (who had a wondrously eccentric fondness for grand gesticulation) took our orders and delivered the wine, well, it was the perfect thing to have done.

In lieu of divulging what each of us ate (sorry all you pining and whining fanboys), let's get to the meat of this story: the LotR dirt.

Click Here to Read the Full Article