New Zealand: Casting call for Hobbit movie ends early due to overwhelming interest


A casting call for extras in "The Hobbit," the latest installment in a series by filmmaker Peter Jackson, had to close its doors early on Saturday after being overwhelmed with hopefuls.

"There was enough concern that police attended,’’ Senior Sergeant Steve Braybrook told local media.

Radio New Zealand reported that about 3,000 people turned up for auditions, including from around New Zealand and overseas.

"We drove from Taranaki, Hawera, and since we got here it’s unbelievable — can’t believe how many people are here. I don’t really know where to start," 3News NZ quoted "Autumn" as saying.

Production company 3foot7 had been expecting 1,200 after the call went out men under 5 foot 3 inches, women under 5 feet, big men with "character faces" over 5 foot 7, men with large biceps, and women with character faces and long hair

3News quoted Jim Cockerill, 6 foot 6, who waited three and a half hours for an audition as saying:

"They’re looking for big men. I think I fit that category quite well. I have my own sword but I don’t know if they want me to bring it or not.

All those auditioning needed to be aged over 16, and:

Those playing elves were required to be slim and between 5 foot 4 and 6 foot 6.

Johanna Skarfelt from Sweden said people always told her she resembled an elf, so she thought she may as well apply.

"I’m a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, it’s actually a huge reason why I came to New Zealand from the beginning," she told 3News.

Around 800 people were eventually auditioned at Belmont Hall in Lower Hutt before casting ended.

“Basically they just measure you, take your photos and that’s it,” Noel Hayvice told 3News.

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