General News

Locals support for hometown "Rings" hero

Dec 20, 2001 | 9:20am EST

Civic pride was evident in Wellington, New Zealand Wednesday as locals turned out for the premiere of Lord of the Rings, giving an especially rousing greeting to the film's director, New Zealand-born Peter Jackson.

Calling him the country's "man of the moment," the New Zealand Herald reported today that it took Jackson a half-hour to cover the red carpet in front of the theater as he stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans behind the ropes.

"This is the proudest moment to have Wellington turn out and be part of this," he told the newspaper. "This is the real premiere."

British actor Orlando Bloom, who plays Legolas in the film, said that he had attended the premieres in London and New York, but "this beats everywhere, man."

Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, added, "It's heartwarming, especially as the hearts of these films live in New Zealand."

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