Belfast Telegraph

Evans: I've introduced Welsh Bard

Luke Evans has joked that he got jobs for Welsh-accented actors in New Zealand, because they were taken on as his on-screen relatives in the Hobbit sequel.

The Welsh actor admitted he didn't have to lose his accent to star as Bard the Bowman in Peter Jackson's second instalment of the big-screen trilogy, The Desolation Of Smaug.

" They were filming me speaking before I did the scene so they heard my Welsh accent, and then when I did my screen test, they asked me to try it in the Welsh accent. I was like, 'Wow, really?' So that's how it came to be - the accent works with Bard," he explained.

"What's lovely is that Bard's ancestors now have a Welsh accent and anyone in Laketown whose ancestors are from Dale, the same as Bard's, have a Welsh accent."

He added: "We employed a lot of Welsh-accented people in New Zealand because of this movie."

Luke revealed it is "a privilege" to join the cast of the big-screen adaptation of JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings prequel.

"It's a privilege. I feel very lucky to be taking a literary character, taking him off the page and putting my stamp on him. It's not been done before, he's not been portrayed before," he said.

"It's a lovely experience. It's a very nice thing to originate someone. Also, to join a story and a group of actors that you know and love very much from the Lord Of The Rings stories, that was very special.

"And to work with Peter was a lucky turn of events. It was a dream to work with somebody like Peter and to spend two years working with him was an amazing thing," he added.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is in cinemas now.

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