Cate Blanchett was noticeably absent from the glitzy premiere, but for a good reason: the 32-year-old Australian actress gave birth to her first son in London on Wednesday.
Cast members were stunned by the reception they got from screaming fans. And while they all agreed that Jackson was a genius, they had something else in common.
McKellen told Reuters Television that the cast had tattoos done while working on the film in New Zealand.
"All members of the cast have got a tattoo. When we had it done in a tattoo parlor in Wellington, New Zealand, we all swore never to tell anyone, " he said. "It was symbolic of the friendship that kept us together for over a year."
British horror film veteran Lee, 79, lavished praise on the director and added that his only ambition was to live long enough to see the next two films when they come out.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first in a three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy released by New Line Cinema. The total budget for all three films was $300 million, making it one of the biggest projects in movie history.
The story follows a young hobbit named Frodo on a frightening journey through Middle-earth to destroy the all-powerful One Ring that the Dark Lord Sauron covets.
The Fellowship of the Ring opens Dec. 19.