Stars of the Rings

Nelson Mail, 30 August 2000

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Star-spotters would have been in heaven at Takaka Aerodrome yesterday, as Lord of the Rings stars Elijah Wood and Sean Astin prepared to start their first day of filming in the Golden Bay area.

Several core cast members were seen at the aerodrome, including Wood, Astin, Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom.

Scenes were shot yesterday at Mt Olympus in Kahurangi National Park, and Canaan Downs on Takaka Hill, depicting the journey of the heroes across Middle Earth in The Fellowship of the Ring, part one of the trilogy.

The filming location changed at short notice to Canaan Downs, the former site of the Gathering dance party, after conditions became unsafe on Mt Olympus.

Publicist Claire Raskind said filming today would take place at a Takaka Hill location.

The location change had not affected the filming schedule, as there were still "a couple of days left to play with", she said.

Acclaimed New Zealand director Peter Jackson and producer Barrie Osborne, who produced the hit science-fiction film The Matrix, were on location.

Wood, who has starred in Deep Impact and The War, is playing Frodo Baggins, a young hobbit who inherits a magic ring and finds himself on a quest to save Middle Earth from the forces of evil.

Wood and fellow American actor Sean Astin were seen getting into a helicopter at the aerodrome to be taken to Mt Olympus yesterday morning.

Astin plays Sam Gamgee, Frodo's most faithful friend.

He gained attention in the 1985 film The Goonies, and has since starred in many television and film productions, including Memphis Belle, Rudy and Courage Under Fire.

British actor Bean, who plays the warrior Boromir, has starred in Golden Eye with Pierce Brosnan, Patriot Games, Ronin and The Field.

The lesser-known Bloom plays Legolas, a valiant elf who joins Frodo's quest.

Golden Bay tourism and accommodation operators were tight-lipped this morning about whether Lord of the Rings cast and crew members were there.

It is understood that some of the crew were staying in caravans at the Takaka aerodrome.



Caption: PHOTO Kirsten Newman. The Lord of the Rings crew filming at Canaan Downs on Takaka Hill yesterday, after bad weather forced them off Mt Olympus.

Nelson Mail, 30 August 2000

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