This morning, I went to get a take-away coffee and ran into an actor friend of my unhusband's and mine, who was enjoying a scrumptious looking breakfast at the same café. Said friend happens to have earned himself a major part on a certain, very big and very famous feature film currently being shot here in Wellington.
New Zealand film fans are enormously proud and justifiably so that not only are the majority of crew on The Hobbit New Zealanders but that a great number of Kiwi actors have earned big parts in the film(s). It's a remarkable feat as it is that Wingnut/3 Foot 7 and the creative and business geniuses behind it have succeeded for a second time in bringing such a prestigious and expensive film to this part of the world. This is especially so after all the drama surrounding the project through most of last year. What is even more remarkable though is that this time around and despite last year's drama, the number of kiwi actors with major speaking parts is so very high! With six of the 14 dwarves played by Kiwi actors and various others rumoured and confirmed in smaller speaking parts before all casting has concluded, The Hobbit already exceeds - and by far - what New Zealand actors had ever dared to hope for.
So, no wonder that we are proud that not only is The Hobbit being filmed in this country and not only does it provide jobs and amazing experiences for our large pool of extremely talented and hard-working creatives and crew behind the camera, but that it also shows off our acting talent (which granted is exclusively male so far but still). No wonder that Kiwi film fans are by and large happy and very proud.
I must say though that I had a bit of a weird feeling at times sitting there with my friend. No one came up to him while I was there at least, nor did I see people whispering or pointing but there was a definite air of recognition. I don't even know if my friend realised it. After all, this is new to him too and it has taken him 20 or so years to get to this point. But I kept seeing people shooting me glances, knowingly, approvingly, almost conspiratorially.
I'm going to make myself feel really special here by assuming that they were also thinking, 'Oooh, she must be an actress in the films as well, oooh...' Well, they got the first part right, and they were definitely thinking, 'We know who you're talking to. It's great, innit? He's on The Hobbit and he's one of us!'
Something to be proud of.