Abbington: Hobbit cast like family
Amanda Abbington has revealed The Hobbit set is like a big family.
The 37-year-old actress has taken her two young children, Joe and Grace, to the other side of the world to watch their dad, actor Martin Freeman, take on the biggest role of his life to date as the lead hobbit Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's big screen adaptation.
Amanda revealed: "It was sacred ground, so before they could start filming we had this thing called a 'powhiri' where the Maoris accept you into their family.
"Ian McKellen made a wonderful speech about how actors are a tribe of people as well, who don't recognise colour, creed or religion. They're just thrown together.
"That's what it's like over here. You've got loads of people from all over the world coming in and it's like a lovely family. We came back a few weeks ago and it's just like coming home."
She's aware that when the first part of the highly-anticipated prequel to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is released next year, it's going to throw a huge spotlight on her partner of 11 years, who came to the nation's attention as Tim in The Office, but says they're ready as a family to cope.
She said: "I think that's inevitable, he's got to be prepared for that, and we'll be there supporting him, making sure he doesn't fly off."
Amanda added: "I know I'm biased because I'm in love with him, but I do think he's doing a pretty excellent job, I'm really proud of him."
:: Amanda stars in children's drama Postcode which begins on CBBC on Tuesday, December 6.