Hobbit role dwarfs rest of career so far for Peter
THE next month is sure to be a rollercoaster ride for Kiwi actor Peter Hambleton.
He is part of one of the largest film trilogies. However, you can be forgiven if you don't recognise him without layers of movie make-up and magic.
Hambleton has spent the past several years playing Gloin in The Hobbit series and has loved every minute of it.
"I never thought I would be part of something like this. I still can't believe it," he said
"When you are an actor, you dream of being part of some big epic movie, but when my agent rang to tell me I got offered the role of Gloin, I didn't believe it."
Hambleton will be coming to Brisbane for the first time to attend the Supanova pop culture convention starting on Friday.
"I haven't been to Supernova before, but a few of the other dwarves went last year," he said.
"Unfortunately, I won't have time to linger. It is a bit of do-the-job-and-get-straight- back to New Zealand."
And that is because December is all things Hobbit- related.
The Battle of Five Armies world premiere will be held on December 1, but will be released around the world from December 10. Aussies will have to wait until December 26 for our turn.
"It is not clear if they are taking us to London at this stage," Hambleton said. "We may attend somewhere else, but that is still to be confirmed."
And what can we expect from the defining chapter?
"Viewers can expect what the Peter Jackson and team does best," Hambleton said.
"It is the end of an epic story and it is emotionally tied up. I have only seen a few glimpses of it, but this movie will rock everyone's world."
Hambleton said the best thing about the production was working with some amazing people.
"There were seven Kiwi actors cast as dwarves and we mostly knew each other before," he said.
"Working with one of the greatest actors, Sir Ian McKellan, was a privilege. He is a wonderful person and a great actor.
"Working with Martin Freeman was also amazing.
"He is one of the most accomplished actors of today and performs magically as Bilbo. He is a craftsman and a funny and naughty man."
Hambleton said it took two hours every day to transform him into Gloin.
"I had a body suit, prosthetic nose, ears and head and then there was make-up, with the beard and hair precisely stuck on. Then the costume and weapons," he said.
"You just try and stay alert during the process.
"Some of the others mastered the ability to sleep in the chair, but I never did."
Hambleton's favourite souvenir from the movies is an axe replica.
"The last day was overwhelming, they gave us all sorts of things," he said.
"One that was special was the exact replica of my axe, which is actually the same axe my character passes on to his son Gimli, from Lord of the Rings. I also have a throwing axe as well," he said.
For Hambleton, fan conventions such as Supanova are a great way to give something back to the fans.
"As we are Kiwis, we like to go out of our way to make people feel welcome," he said.
"We try to make time and really chat and meet them. I also love the costume competitions at the conventions, they are amazing."
The Supanova Pop Culture Expo runs Friday through Sunday at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Peter Hambleton reflects on The Hobbit
*Of all the three movies, Peter said the barrel sequence was one of the best to film.
"We shot it over a long period, sometimes over the Pelorus River near Nelson in the upper South Island, sometimes it was in an old car factory with this amazing machinery that whirled us around for close ups. And then there was the digital magic over the top of it," he said.
"It was an amazing feat, like being on a ride the whole time. It was really executed well and really live- like you had to just go with what happens. It was safety controlled, but all part of the excitement and the resulting sequence in the film was wonderful."
*Peter's favourite line from the movie is a simple one from the first film.
"There are a few but one I love is "Let's get a fire started" which is kicking off the scene in the caves," he said.
"A fan once gave me a picture of Gloin with those words superimposed over it and I like that attitude.
"Dwarves are fighters and get worked up over anything, they are bound to fight."
*Who came up with the background information for the dwarves?
"It was all part of the creative process, before the camera was rolling we had pre-production or dwarf boot camp as we called it and we were involved with the writers Peter, Fran and Philippa," Peter said.
"There is not a lot of info from The Hobbit (book) to pin things on, although we had a vague idea.
"But we grew the back story as a team as there is clear history and a relationship with each other and that comes across on screen."
*What's the number one thing a Hobbit fan should do when visiting New Zealand?
"Any Hobbit fan needs to go to Hobbiton in Matamata. It is extraordinary. It shows the beauty done, another example of how much effort goes into the craft of the movies.
"I took my family there a few years ago, it is a real delight."