The Iris Interview: Peter Hambleton (NZ) on the end of The Hobbit ahead of Armageddon Melbourne!

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Armageddon Melbourne is coming up this weekend, giving fans of sci-fi, pop culture, anime and more the chance to meet some amazing actors, animators, illustrators and more. Taking place at the Melbourne Showgrounds on October 18th and 19th, you can bet that there are going to be some killer cosplays, hilarious panels and more coming out from the two day event. One of the guests on his way to Armageddon is Peter Hambleton, otherwise known as Glóin in The Hobbit trilogy of films. As we reach the end of the year, it’s also meaning the end of the latest Peter Jackson-helmed franchise of films which have adapted the fantastical Tolkien universe. Having spoken with some of his cast mates on the experience of making these films over the past few years, Hambleton echoes their sentiments about the place The Hobbit now holds in their lives.

“Mixed emotions, really.” Hambleton says of the end of the series. “Life moves on, but we have certainly had the most amazing experience, these last three years together. Any sadness is combined with great pride in our work, and the feeling of being part of a very big, very special Middle Earth family.”

For the fans of the original Lord of the Rings franchise of films, I think it’s fair to say that The Hobbit was met with quite high expectations, expectations which definitely were met and perhaps even surpassed. From the graphics to the stunning landscapes the viewer has been afforded with the cinematic presentations, the story itself has been told so far with a great amount of passion and detail. For the Wellington native, Hambleton comments on the effect Jackson’s films have had over the years, especially hailing from NZ.

“I had no involvement with the Rings trilogy, apart from some post -production voice recording, but it all happened right here in my hometown of Wellington and we were all swept up in the excitement of that extraordinary achievement. My wife Aileen and I have fond memories of going along to the Embassy Theatre with our kids and friends to enjoy each Rings movie as it came out. When I got the part in The Hobbit, my expectations were extremely high, but they have been very much surpassed by the experience of working with so many wonderfully talented people. I have huge admiration for all the cast, crew and production team who make these magical movies come to life. Every time these people reach some creative pinnacle, they dare to reach further, push boundaries, and dream bigger.”

For any fan of the films who has been following previous press interviews or has been lucky enough to attend any of the fan expo The Hobbit has had some part in, the fact that this is more than just an ensemble cast is one of the glaringly obvious topics of conversation. Not only have they now got such a wealth of shared experiences nobody else will be able to reflect on, it’s all been captured on screen, which is an added bonus! Through the obvious perks and ups The Hobbit has afforded them, the cast also went through their fair share of challenges during the filming of the movies.

“A very strong brotherhood.” Hambleton agrees of the tight-knit nature of the cast. “We’ve been through so much together and that family feeling just grew very naturally over our time together. Now we always look forward to being reunited at premieres and fan conventions etc., and we all stay in touch.”

“At times the work was very arduous – I had one experience where I thought I might die from overheating! – but we also had so many magical experiences in breathtakingly beautiful locations, that the hard times are all worth it. I can heartily recommend barrel-riding in a real river – it’s awesome!”

Once The Hobbit officially wraps and all the premieres and press circuits are done, what can we look forward to seeing Peter sinking his teeth into next? It seems we won’t be waiting long, as he’s already in the throes of another project, this time behind the action.

“Right now, I’m directing a play starring two marvellous actors – a Kiwi and an Aussie! The Underarm  is a warm-hearted comedy about how a famous cricket clash affects two brothers who meet up years later to relive their glory days. It will tour New Zealand later this year and then Australia early next year, alongside the Cricket World Cup. It stars Melbourne actor Jeremy Kewley and Christopher Brougham from Wellington.”

For more information on Armageddon Melbourne, visit www.http://armageddonexpo.com/

For information on The Underarm, visit www.theunderarm.com