December 6, 2001
Sean Bean, Man of
But what's causing most excitement right now is the Christmas release of The Fellow-ship of the Ring. Directed by Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures, Braindead) this is the first installment in the long-awaited three-film adaptation of JRR Tolkein's classic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. Jackson famously took his cast, which in addition to Bean includes Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm and Liv Tyler, to the wilds of New Zealand on a marathon 18-month shoot to film all three parts of the $ 270m epic back-to-back. It was a massive logistical undertaking, and a gamble for everyone involved.
"I don't think any of us really expected what we were letting ourselves in for," says Bean, who spent a mere year in New Zealand shooting the films, interrupted only by a couple of brief visits back to the UK. "But it was just sort of magical, to have a group of people all doing the same thing, all going in the same direction, just left on an island. A very beautiful island. They'd chopper us up to mountain tops where nobody had ever been before."