By Emma Jolliff
There were chaotic scenes today as thousands of hopefuls flocked to an audition in Wellington, to be extras in the upcoming movie The Hobbit.
Police had to shut the whole thing down, after being overrun by Hobbit wannabes, which they say caused accidents and congestion on State Highway 2 north of the city.
Casting officially started at one o'clock but some hopefuls got there hours earlier where they queued, and queued and queued some more – all in the hope of a shot at Hobbit stardom.
“Being The Hobbit, being the Lord of the Rings, it might be a good idea to come early so I can avoid all of that, which, thank God, I did, says Megan Fairweather.
And some travelled great distances to get there.
“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,” says audition hopeful Autumn.
“Basically they just measure you, take your photos and that’s it,” says Noel Hayvice.
And it is not just pint-sized Hobbits they are after, they need men and women with character faces, men with large biceps and slim, athletic types to play elves.
Johanna Skarfelt from Sweden says people always tell her she looks like an elf so she may as well apply to be one.
“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 says.
Six foot six Jim Cockerill waited three and a half hours.
“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,” says Mr Cockerill.
Production company Three Foot Seven told 3 News they had expected 1200 people but there were thousands more.
The swelling crowds caused problems for police who cut the auditions short.
Only 800 people got through the door, leaving many an aspiring Hobbit feeling short-changed.
But those who missed out, we are assured, will still be able to audition online.