‘The Hobbit’ premieres in New Zealand

By Meaghan Fleming,

The world premiere of the first film in The Hobbit franchise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took place on Wednesday afternoon in New Zealand’s capital Wellington.

Stars of the film walked the red carpet and talked to reporters about their roles in the movie including Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins. Thousands of fans lined the carpet to catch glimpses of the actors.

The Huffington Post UK talked to Freeman and Andy Serkis (Gollum) about the film. Freeman says he hopes people enjoy his version of Bilbo. Serkis calls Freeman "a stunning actor," and said he enjoyed his time acting with him in the film.

Freeman is being praised by many of his fellow actors. Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo Baggins, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is reprising his role in The Hobbit movies. He told the Hollywood Reporter what he enjoyed about Freeman’s performance.

"He was brilliant - the right amount of funny," Wood said. “He has strange qualities, but also real heart. He is the heart of the movie, and he really pulled it off."

Audience members are reportedly impressed with the higher frame rate and the overall quality of the movie. Peter Jackson is being praised by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key who called him a “genius.”

Jackson talked about how he felt, showing the film after keeping much of it a secret for so long.

“It's been two years with this narrow focus on the film where we were trying to keep everybody out," Jackson said. "You have security, you don't want people to know what you're doing. Then you get to that moment where filming's over, and 100,000 people come along to the premiere. It's kind of like the whole world has turned upside down."

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is being released on December 14.

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