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'the hobbit' Posts

Mark Hadlow: From a teenage bully to a troll and a dwarf…

Posted on 21 January 2014

Actor Tandi Wright once called Mark Hadlow "the best physical comedian I've ever seen". 

Hadlow first appeared on our TV screens as a teenage bully in Children of Fire Mountain. Later he worked alongside Ilona Rodgers and Billy T James in the sitcom version of The Billy T James Show. His flair for comedy earned him starring roles in the film Just Me and Mario, and TV series Willy Nilly. Hadlow has worked twice with director Peter Jackson – first providing voices to a range of characters in Meet the Feebles, and then playing both a dwarf and a troll in The Hobbit trilogy.

In this ScreenTalk, Hadlow talks about:

  • Turning disappointment into triumph with Children of Fire Mountain
  • Being hospitalised after an accident on set
  • Working hard in the starring role of film Just Me and Mario
  • Having fun playing a dopey Australian on The Billy T James Show
  • Being nominated for a 'best actress' award after playing a hippo and a hedgehog in Meet the Feebles
  • Never having a bad day on the set of Willy Nilly
  • How co-star Sean Duffy influenced him on the show
  • The best six weeks of his life: rehearsing for King Kong with Naomi Watts
  • Bringing Bert the Troll to life in The Hobbit
  • Being teased mercilessly by fellow actor Martin Freeman

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



mark hadlow, children of fire mountain, actor, ilona rodgers, billy t james, the billy t james show, just me and mario, willy nilly, peter jackson, meet the feebles, the hobbit, sean duffy, martin freeman, king kong, naomi watts, bert the troll, best actress, tandi wright, bill johnson, terence cooper, mike smith, heidi the hippo

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Mark Mitchinson: A career playing dangerous men…

Posted on 21 October 2013

Award-winning actor Mark Mitchinson has made a name for himself bringing complex and dangerous characters to life on screen. He has played a psychiatrist who murdered his wife in Bloodlines; a gunman in Siege; and a dodgy shrink in Nothing Trivial. In 2013, Mitchinson also produced and starred in the made for the web drama/comedy High Road.

In this ScreenTalk, Mitchinson talks about:

  • Being overwhelmed by the pace of filming on Outrageous Fortune
  • Relishing the contradictions of the lead role in Bloodlines
  • A small but critical role in the tele-feature Rage
  • Gaining a perspective on Peter Jackson in The Hobbit
  • Lobbying to play the killer in Siege
  • The strange experience of filming in the real location of the drama
  • The genesis of his web series High Road
  • Realising his role in Nothing Trivial could make him hated

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



mark mitchinson, bloodlines, seige, nothing trivial, high road, outrageous fortune, rage, the hobbit, actor

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John Callen: The distinctive voice behind Oin the Dwarf…

Posted on 22 April 2013

Actor and director John Callen has a voice that is hard to forget. Callen has appeared in a number of TV shows and films including Close to Home, The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior and, most recently, The Hobbit. His directing credits include Shortland Street, and the documentary series Epitaph and Taonga.

In this ScreenTalk, Callen talks about:

  • Why The Hobbit has been his most extraordinary job
  • Still enjoying a good fight despite being older than his contemporaries
  • How costuming proved to be a big hassle on the set, and a light moment with co-star Billy Connolly
  • How playing a murderer on Close to Home appealed to autograph hounds
  • The excitement of directing actors on Shortland Street
  • Enjoying directing 'real' stories for Epitaph
  • Learning about Māori history on the series Taonga
  • The challenge of re-writing scripts on war documentary The Kiwi Who Saved Britain

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



oin, dwarf, john callen, close to home, epitaph, the hobbit, shortland street, taonga, tv, film, the sinking of the rainbow warrior

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Sarah Peirse: Multi award winner…

Posted on 4 February 2013

Award-winning actor Sarah Peirse is best known for her portrayals of two very different mothers — the ill-fated Honorah Rieper in Heavenly Creatures, and the disaffected sophisticate in Rain. Peirse’s first film was the 80s short Queen Street, followed by tele-feature A Woman of Good Character (aka It's Lizze to those Close). More recently, she has appeared in tele-movies Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield and Aftershock.

In this ScreenTalk, Peirse talks about:

  • Having an intense acting journey in A Woman of Good Character
  • Playing the gloriously named Vivienne Wallop in Sylvia
  • Being heavily pregnant on the set of The Navigator
  • Her experience of working with director Vincent Ward
  • Being told not to watch Peter Jackson’s previous films prior to working with him on Heavenly Creatures
  • Dreaming about the character she played in the film
  • Finding the story in the feature film Rain compelling
  • Perspectives on her character’s grief and self-destruction
  • Playing a 'constrained and compromised' mother in Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield
  • Not knowing whether or not her work on the Hobbit films will make the final cut
  • Feeling blessed to have been able to do roles integral to many films

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



vivienne wallop, queen street, rain, sylvia, the hobbit, the navigator, actor, honora reiper, heavenly creatures, sarah peirse, a woman of good character, bliss

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Dean O’Gorman: An Almighty Hobbit

Posted on 12 September 2012

Actor Dean O’Gorman won his first lead role in a feature film in Bonjour Timothy at the age of 17. Soon after he starred in Shortland Street, then went on to appear in a long list of international and local TV dramas including Young Hercules, McLeod’s Daughters and The Almighty Johnsons. O’Gorman’s next big screen appearance will be in The Hobbit. In this ScreenTalk, O’Gorman talks about:

  • Getting the lead role in Bonjour Timothy at just 17
  • Being at the mercy of the writers on Shortland Street
  • Learning to play with swords on the set of Xena
  • A physically demanding role on Young Hercules
  • Playing a gay character in the film When Love Comes
  • Being a ‘man women would like to see’ on McLeod’s Daughters
  • A small but satisfying role in Serial Killers
  • Learning to play cricket with his left hand for Tangiwai: A Love Story
  • Being more conservative in real life than his character in The Almighty Johnsons

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



interview, shortland street, bonjour timothy, the hobbit, young hercules, screentalk, the almighty johnsons, dean o'gorman, mcleod’s daughters

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Jeffrey Thomas: Close to Home, Shortland St and everything inbetween...

Posted on 24 April 2012

Actor Jeffrey Thomas has had a long and varied career in both TV and theatre. His best-known television role was as Inspector Brian Finn in the police series Shark in the Park. Thomas has also appeared in Mercy Peak, Shortland Street, Spartacus and Outrageous Fortune. He has just completed a small film role in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. In this ScreenTalk, Thomas talks about:

  • How Close to Home was the perfect place to hone his acting skills
  • Having lots of fun and laughter on the set of Gliding On
  • How being seen as a ‘leader’ got him the main role in Shark in the Park
  • How spending time with the police gave him the cues he needed for the role
  • Being mistaken for a real cop by a robbery victim
  • Loving the spectacle on the set of Hercules
  • Playing a dying man on Shortland Street
  • Enjoying working with John Hannah in Spartacus
  • The reason he can’t tell anyone about his experience on The Hobbit
  • Being surprised and humbled by his long career
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



interview, actor, outrageous fortune, close to home, shark in the park, mercy peak, Screentalk, gliding on, Jeffrey Thomas, inspector brian finn, the hobbit, spartacus

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