Blog| 17 March 2011 | First Rehearsal

Today I was in various places which are all the same place.

I was on flat land the Maori called Whataitai until renamed in 1872, Miramar, or "Behold the Sea," which is indeed nearby.

I was in Stone Street Studios in the heart of a modern suburb, with some light industry.

In fact, I was in an old paint factory, which I knew ten years back as the main film studio for The Lord of the Rings. Inside was the new set for Bag End, including a bedroom and pantry.

And I was there too, in Hobbiton, with a semi-circle of dwarves and Bilbo, their reluctant host. I was at the cast's first joint rehearsal where Peter Jackson, with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, invited our comments on their script so far. This is as close to bliss as an actor can get. Facing three Oscar-winning screenplay writers who genuinely want us actors to contribute. AND there were piles of snacks on the coffee tables: fresh fruit, NZ cheese, Minties.

Two of the cast have forsworn deserts during Lent. Not me, not yet. At lunch I took seconds of the flourless chocolate cake and sour cream.


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