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'The Hobbit' stars say film boasts special-effects galore

Richard Armitage is seen.
December 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is the first in a trilogy of prequels to another trilogy, "The Lord Of The Rings."

Some theatres will show it in 3D at 48 film frames a second -- that's double the standard that's been in operation for some 90 years.

"It's the most unbelievably immersive, engaging, thrilling -- you feel like you're inside the movie, I think," said Andy Serkis.

Serkis is the actor behind the performance capture technology used to bring the character Gollum to life. Martin Freeman plays Bilbo Baggins.

"I have never seen anything like it," said Freeman. "The whole frame rate and the 3D, the pin-sharp definition...it is unlike any film I've ever seen."

For some of the actors, being cast in a trilogy that would take 18 months to shoot in far away New Zealand was a great opportunity.

"It's something that you live for, you know?" said Richard Armitage. "You wait for that phone call. As an actor, you're like, yeah, I want that phone call from Peter Jackson saying, 'You're my first choice for Thorin Oakenshield.'"

But before he could play the role, he and many others had to take part in a "Hobbit" specific boot camp.

"We had to learn to run and train with these boots on so that we didn't trip over, develop spinal strength and strength in the arms to wield all the weapons. So, yeah, it was an endurance test," said Armitage.

Ian McKellen says he got away wearing a loose gown and comfy boots, but that was not the norm.

"Everybody in 'The Hobbit' wears a wig," he said. "That's a little-known fact. And it's unusual in a film -- everybody wears a wig. Most of us wear a prosthetic, and I've got a false nose and Bilbo's got false feet. the dwarves have got a false head and false hands and false legs," he ended, with a large sigh.

"The Hobbit" is rated PG-13.


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