UK & World News

  • 13 December 2012, 7:16

Hobbit Premiere: William Walks The Green Carpet

Prince William has joined the stars of The Hobbit at its UK premiere, saying his pregnant wife Kate "would have loved to have been here if she could".

Hundreds of fans braved the freezing cold to catch a glimpse of the cast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on the green carpet in London.

The trilogy of films, based on the novel by JRR Tolkien, is set in Middle-earth 60 years before the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Martin Freeman, who plays the central character Bilbo Baggins, told Sky's Lucy Cotter it felt "slightly odd" seeing his face on posters all over the world.

Director Peter Jackson rearranged shooting on the film so Freeman could fit in filming on the BBC drama Sherlock before travelling to New Zealand.

"I loved playing it. I really loved playing it. I hope people like it. There's nothing more you can do. It's in the hands of Peter Jackson and the editors," he said.

Cate Blanchett, who takes up the role of elf queen Galadriel again, described the film as "probably the most expensive student film that's ever been made" due to the level of excitement and passion on the set.

The Australian actress told Cotter: "I thought my job was done a decade ago. I was absolutely thrilled to come back for a week and visit everyone again."

The Duke of Cambridge attended the event alone while his wife Kate, whose pregnancy was announced last week, continues to rest at St James's Palace while suffering from acute morning sickness.

As he met the cast inside the cinema, he was presented with a Hobbit goodie bag to take home to his wife.

Filming for the movie took place in Wellington, as it did for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and Sir Ian McKellen said it was like "going home" when he returned to play Gandalf.

Andy Serkis only makes a small appearance in The Hobbit as Gollum, but ended up staying on to work behind the camera.

He said: "My unexpected journey on this was thinking I was going Down Under to reprise the role of Gollum for two weeks - and then Peter asked me to direct the second unit, so I ended up going for a year and a half."

He told Cotter Gollum was the "best role ever".

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