Manawatu Evening Standard
December 4, 2001

An Orc Talks
Staff Reporter

Evan Nattrass is used to wearing armour in public. But as a Lord of the Rings extra, he hit the big time. Ewan Sargent reports.

From the dark shadows, one evil orc appears and slips across the ridge. Two more follow. Then, suddenly, a horde of the goblin slave soldiers, bred from tortured elves, stream over the rubble to slaughter ambushed humans.

Arrows fill the air, followed by grunts and cheers as the humans are cut down in the ruined city of Osgiliath.

In the middle of the bloodbath, sweating under his orc latex costume - and having a ball - is Evan Nattrass.

The perennial Palmerston North mayoral candidate, who enjoys donning medieval armour on public occasions, was among the extras hired to keep the body count impressively high in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

He's waiting eagerly until the first of the movies is released on December 20 to see what magic the editing and computer enhancement creates from the type of scenes he saw filmed.

But back to Osgiliath, where he helped slaughter a bundle of humans. J R R Tolkien's ancient ruined city, which lies between evil Mordor and Gondor on the banks of the Anduin River, was built in Upper Hutt.

"It was an incredible place. They'd built multistorey buildings with great archways and balustrades and balconies and paved squares and statues and fountains, all broken and rubble and charred with fire. It was a real, ruined city that had been destroyed a long time before," Mr Nattrass says.

The humans they destroyed didn't exist, but the authentic set helped them think they did.

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