For my final interview from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies London junket, I’ve got Russell Alexander, general manager of Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in New Zealand. As I wrote last week, Hobbiton is a real place. When Jackson was scouting New Zealand to find places to film The Lord of the Rings, he spotted the Alexander Farm during an aerial search of the North Island and thought it would be a perfect location for Hobbiton. After some negotiations and a lot of work, the farm was transformed. Almost immediately after the premiere of The Fellowship of the Ring, Alexander began showing people around. However, since the set was never designed to last, it was a pale imitation of its current set-up. The main reason is, when Jackson decided to make The Hobbit movies, Alexander and Jackson partnered up to build a new version of Hobbiton using permanent materials designed to last and taking into account the location’s popularity with tourists. Now when you visit the location, everything looks real and you wonder what might be lurking inside if you opened a Hobbit hole.
During the interview, Alexander talked about how Hobbiton has changed over the past few years to make it an even better experience for visitors, if people try and stay in The Green Dragon all day, plans for further expansion, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
And for more on Hobbiton, here’s 20 things to know about the attraction along with 60 pictures. If you ever go to New Zealand, I definitely recommend stopping by. You’ll love it.
- How has Hobbiton changed over the past few years to make it an even better experience for visitors?
- How many people try and stay in The Green Dragon all day?
- Any Easter Eggs to look for on the tour?
- How they remade the Hobbit holes to last a long time.
- How they brought a Hobbit hole and grass from New Zealand for the press junket.
- Are they planning for further expansion?