Actor James Nesbitt has spoken about the challenges of starring in The Hobbit - and how he relocated his family to New Zealand for the making of the soon-to-be-released movie.
The Ballymena-born star plays dwarf Bofur in Peter Jackson’s trilogy of JRR Tolkien’s tale, the precursor to the Lord of the Rings story.
“It is a big film - it is the really the biggest film ever made - so the scale of it was extraordinary, and very exciting and at times a little bit daunting,” said Nesbitt.
“It was also at times a bit frustrating when you feel that you’re a very, very small cog in a very, very big machine.
“But ultimately working with Jackson was a treat and I’ll always be able to say I was a dwarf in The Hobbit and there’s only 13 of us will ever be able to say that.”
>Click play button to listen to our James Nesbitt interview<
He described his children as “heartbroken at first,” when he and wife Sonia explained they were moving temporarily to New Zealand.
But, he added: “It turned out great. The kids were introduced and integrated into different cultures and my kids will always have a touch of Máori in them.”
The Hobitt: an Unexpected Journey opens at cinemas in Northern Ireland in mid December. Parts 2 and 3 - The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again - follow in 2013 and 2014.
Nesbitt was speaking during a visit to Coleraine last week.
In the audio interview (above), he also speaks about his role as Chancellor of the University of Ulster and his work with the charity Wave, which supports people traumatised by the Northern Ireland Troubles.