Let’s face it. Visiting a film location can be a fun-filled, weekend getaway at any number of SoCal studios. However, if you’re a J.R.R. Tolkien fan, taking a trip to Middle Earth would be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity! That’s exactly how Tee and I felt. Thanks to Warner Bros. and Air New Zealand, we were invited on a private tour of the Book of New Zealand held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Entitled, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” this press event vibrantly introduces the next “Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which opens nationwide Dec. 13, as well as masterfully presents New Zealand’s breathtaking countryside. From Hidden Bay (Turoa, Ohakune) to Forest River (Pelorus River, Marlborough) to Lonely Mountain’s captivating Statue of Thror, four of Middle Earth’s most popular locations were featured in this incredulous tour. Standing next to larger-than life-size props from Beorn’s House (Paradise, Queenstown) such as the gigantic chair, massive bed and carved walls truly made us feel like one of the dwarfs.
We were also surprised with a special meet-and-greet with two of the actors who portray dwarves on the Hobbit trilogy, Aidan Turner (Kili) and Dean O’Gorman (Fili). Of course, we wanted to know how they prepared for their roles. Turner says,”It’s impossible to mentally or physically prepare for this role. But, we do take a lot of combat training for the fight scenes.” Dean agrees, “I don’t think you can mentally prepare to for that role. To be a dwarf?” Being a dwarf is hard working considering they spent an average of 26 hours on the set. To top it off, they used various prosthetics, make-up and costumes. Both actors shared their feelings on being costumed. Aidan says, “The costumes were very heavy.” Dean agrees, “It was hard. It was very weird. We had all of these layers of costumes that we were wearing.”
Below are some fun factoids about the film that you might enjoy about the upcoming film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”:
- There are two wizards in this film, Gandalf and Radagast
- Four Tons of silicon was used to generate facial prosthetics.
- 11,862 prosthetics were made for the Trilogy.
- 15-year-old actor John Bell (Bain) grew 4 inches over the length of the production.
- It took four hours to complete hair, make-up, prosthetic and wardrobe for each Dwarf.
- There are 13 Dwarves in the movie, Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Bofur, Bombur, Bifur, Dori, Nori, Ori, Glorin, and Oin.
- 91 wigs were created for the Dwarves.
- It took an average of 26 days to shoot a single set.
- 10kg of human hair was used for wig making.
- 752 Wigs were made for the film. Nearly everyone in the film is wigged.
- It took 65 people including actors doubles and stuntmen to portray 13 dwarves.
Here are our pictures from world’s biggest ‘pop-up’ story book, The Book of New Zealand
Hidden Bay – Turoa, Ohakune
The prominent head of Thror from the set of The Hobbit Trilogy stands guard at the entrance to the Lonely Mountain,
Set against the moody skies and grassy slopes of Turoa on Mount Ruapehu.
Forest River – Pelorus River Marlborough
Pelorus River’s waterfall cascades down into the crystal clear waters at the set of Forest River,
bubbling the water up and pushing the dwarves in barrels down past the lurking Orcs.
Beorn’s House – Paradise, Queenstown
Step into the set of Beorn’s house, and be dwarfed as you climb up onto his magnificently carved chair and
admire his view out the window onto the majestic Paradise valley in Queenstown.
Laketown – Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook
Walk through the set of Laketown where you can stop on a bridge crossing over the lake and admire Mt Cook’s snoy peaks which gleam over the pristine Lake Pukaki in the village background.
Costumes worn by actors of film
Thanks to Warner Bros. for gifting the following items:
* We attended this press event to facilitate this review. This is not a sponsored post. We did receive a gift bag.