Wide array vie for 'Hobbit' extra roles

A steady flow of Wakatipu residents of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds attended the open call for extras for The Hobbit at the Queenstown Events Centre yesterday.

Hundreds answered advertisements placed by talent agencies for "character faces" for an undisclosed shoot in late October, late November or early December.

The timing corresponded with resource consent applications lodged this month by The Hobbit production company Three Foot Seven Ltd to film at at least three Wakatipu locations.

For reasons not given, the audition was closed to media and hopeful extras signed a confidentiality agreement when they registered their interest.

Asked to comment, on condition of anonymity, outside the centre, a Queenstown man said he attended the audition because of his "lifelong love of all things Tolkien".

The atmosphere in the mezzanine function room was "buzzing", he said.

"I'm ugly enough to be an orc, but I have no expectations. But I do hope, against all odds, I land an extra's role."