February 26, 2011 sees the start of a new round of auditions being held for Peter Jackson’s two-part Hobbit movie. The first will be held at Te Whaea – National Dance and Drama Centre, Newtown, Wellington on Saturday. This is an official Hobbit elf actors’ call, seeking to find people to play elven horse riders and elven extras in the J.R.R. Tolkien story.
This is part time, temporary contract work. People who have already been seen at a previous casting call need not re-apply, as they will be on file. Those who cannot attend the casting call and do fit the elven requirements should email the casting contractor via the “Apply online” button on the official advertisement in Trademe.co.nz to be sent an application form. CVs or cover letters are not required.
Aspiring applicants need to be legal for work in New Zealand, which means they must have NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit. Specific appearance criteria for the elven physical build is tall and slender. Men and women applying need to be aged 17 to 40 years old; men should be at least 6ft (183cm) or taller and women should be aged 17 to 40 years old and at least 5ft 9 (175cm) tall.
Reminders that “if you do not fit into the height ranges you should not apply” are reminiscent of the previous occasion, in November 2010, when appearance criteria caused friction at auditions for The Hobbit. The print advertisement that asked for “light skin toned” women actors to apply caused no eyebrows to raise, but the auditions video posted online (now removed) clearly showing a mixed race woman being told no, “It’s the brief, I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do,” raised a media storm. An official apology was issued by Wingnut Films, who denied applying such racist criteria, the NZ Herald reported.
Queues and a long wait are characteristic of these auditions. Seven hundred hopefuls had turned up for the November Hobbit casting interviews at the designated basketball pitch, where the agent’s representative was filmed rejecting the woman on a glance at her face. Naz Humphreys, a Brit with Pakistani heritage, was in New Zealand on a work permit and hoped to take part in the Hobbit project as an “extra.” That casting contract agency was fired.
The Wellington casting call for Saturday 26 February 2011, 9.30 to 12 o’clock and 1.30 to 3 o’clock, is the first of a round of calls for the movie. There will be casting calls in other cities as required.
August 2011 Update
The new call advertised in Trademe.co.nz for male elf actors only, no auditions, photos must be supplied. Only Wellington based residents invited to apply. Also required are men aged 30 plus, medium to large build, 5’8″ – 6 foot (175cm – 183cm). Character faces, beards, missing teeth are all OK.
January 2012 Update
Auditions on Saturday 28 January 2012 at the Belmont Hall, Hutt City, next to Belmont Primary School, 709 Western Hutt Road , from 1pm to 4pm. Only Wellington residents aged over 17 years with a valid work permit and fitting the physical criteria in the advertisement need apply.
February 6th 2012 Deadline
Call for extras. All the above stipulations apply – physical type, age limit, residency in Wellington, work permit. Must print out, fill in and send by post the application form supplied in the advertisement, to be received by the February 6 deadline. Includes confidentiality stipulation.