Entertainment

Peter Jackson rejects 'The Hobbit' animal cruelty claims

The Hobbit director Peter Jackson and star Martin Freeman at today's press conference in Wellington.
The Hobbit director Peter Jackson and star Martin Freeman at today's press conference in Wellington. Seanna Cronin

THE stars of The Hobbit have described working on the film as a family atmosphere at a press conference this morning in Wellington.

Beloved Froddo actor Elijah Woods said it felt like "no time had passed at all" when he returned to Hobbiton to film his brief appearance in The Hobbit and Martin Freeman praised the film crew for being so understanding about his reservations of being away for his family for 18 months.

Freeman, who plays central character Bilbo Baggins, said he nearly had to turn down the titular role because of scheduling conflicts with his UK drama series Sherlock.

Speaking to media ahead of tonight's world premiere, director Peter Jackson said there was no one else but Freeman to play Bilbo.

Jackson said it felt like "the country was behind us" and hit back at claims of animal cruelty on The Hobbit set, describing them as "an insult to everyone who worked on the film".

Filmed at 48 frames per second and in 3D, The Hobbit is much more technologically advanced than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson said it was "not impossible" for the Lord of the Rings films to one day be re-released in 3D.

One of the many new additions to the Jackson fold, Barry Humphries joked about his "first nude scene" as his character The Goblin King and was teased by co-star Cate Blanchett for his "goiter".

Blanchett stood out in the line-up in a bright red dress and said she feel "madly" in love with Ian McKellen during the scenes they share together in the film, the first of Jackson's Hobbit trilogy.

The jovial atmosphere continued when the cast of dwarves took questions.

William Kircher joked about how the 13 actors had become "close with yaks" after wearing elaborate yak-hair beards for the past 18 months of filming.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in Australia on Boxing Day.

Topics:  editors picks movie premiere peter jackson the hobbit: an unexpected journey



The success of Curryfest

Woolgoolga Curryfest 2017

Crowds are thick at the annual Woolgoolga Curryfest.

It's first in best dressed darlings

Miss Conception, Marty Martini, Glorious Mountains, Wayward Wally and Honey Moonshine are getting their glitter on for Monday night.

Monday night be a drag in Coffs Harbour

Coffs Coast claims 2018 WRC rally round

WRC rally Australia  Wedding bells stage, Jari-Matti Latvala lands heavily on the Jump. 20 NOV 2016

Great news overnight from the FIA in France.

Local Partners

Premiering film shares Gladstone woman's cancer battle

Local woman tells her story with help from local artists.

Sticks and Wombat finally score a win on The Block

Sticks and Wombat in their winning hallway in a scene from The Block.

MATES get in touch with their softer side to clinch victory.

Meghan and Harry’s public debut

Meghan Markle, centre right, takes in the opening ceremonies of the Invictus Games in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.

Meghan Markle joined her beau at the opening of the Invictus Games

PHOTOS: Elton John wowed the crowds in Mackay

Elton John at BBPrint Stadium on September 22, 2017

Elton John and his Band open their Once in a Lifetime tour in Mackay

Mum Kris responds to Kylie Jenner's pregnancy bombshell

There are reports 20-year-old Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the reality show family, is expecting a child with her boyfriend Travis Scott. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File)

Is there another addition coming to the Jenner-Kardashian clan?

Float with butterflies

NATURAL BEAUTY: A butterfly at the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.

Visit the wonderful world of butterflies

Documentary exposes our worst phone habits

Five young Australian drivers demonstrate disturbing driving habits in documentary It's People Like Us.

A shocking number of us are guilty of this very stupid act.