Hobbit casting call overwhelmed

A casting call for extras in Sir Peter Jackson's movie The Hobbit had to close its doors early on Saturday after being overwhelmed with hopefuls.

"There was enough concern that police attended," Senior Sergeant Steve Braybrook told NZ Newswire.

More people turned up than expected at Belmont Hall in Lower Hutt and the organiser decided to "call it quits", he said.

The location of the hall near State Highway 2 had contributed to the situation.

The way people were queuing was exposing them to risk and there were reports of people parking on side roads and crossing the motorway to get to the venue, Sen Sgt Braybrook said.

Radio New Zealand reported about 3000 people turned up, when production company 3foot7 was expecting 1200.

About 800 people got through the door, 3News reported.

The production company was looking for men under 163cm and women under 155cm, big men with "character faces" over 175cm, men with large biceps, women with character faces and long hair.

Those playing elves were required to be slim and between 165cm and 203cm.

Hopefuls needed to be over 16.

People came from around New Zealand and from overseas.

"They measure you and take a photo," one hopeful who got through the door said.