A Press release regarding “The Hobbit”
March 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
NZ Actors’ Guild seeks to celebrate the positive impacts on the lives of Kiwi actors
In the light of recent statements from Actors’ Equity the New Zealand Actors’ Guild looks to celebrate the positive influence The Hobbit is already having on New Zealand actors and film professionals.
It is an amazing thing that so many talented and deserving Kiwi actors have been rewarded with key roles on The Hobbit already, and in doing so have netted life-changing contracts. To have so many fantastic New Zealand performers in meaty and lucrative roles in a major Hollywood production is something to be justifiably proud of and speaks volumes of the talent available. Especially after an extensive casting search within New Zealand and overseas to have so many Kiwi actors in major roles is a coup.
The New Zealand Actors’ Guild is enormously proud to have one member in a major role and already several other Guild members have secured lucrative contracts. With more than half the major roles still to be cast we have every reason to anticipate that this number will increase.
The Hobbit is a major studio production with a serious budget and has already been dogged with issues and the studios who have invested in it will be demanding the best possible returns. Therefore it is an immense credit to Sir Peter Jackson that he has championed the cause of so many New Zealand actors who are largely unheralded overseas. Like Sir Peter, the New Zealand Actors’ Guild has every reason to believe that they will do the country proud.
The NZ Actors’ Guild believes that it is churlish and argumentative to call into question the whole casting process that has already benefited New Zealand performers and will continue to give countless opportunities to actors outside the speaking roles. The actors in the roles of stand-ins and doubles are also on generous contracts for extended periods of time and there will be the opportunity for a large number of performers to benefit from extra roles, giving many actors valuable experience and an ongoing income in uncertain times.
“It is amazing to be working alongside some of the most talented actors from abroad and from our very shores, ” says Guild member and core cast member Jed Brophy. “We are being treated amazingly well and working very hard to ensure this is a fantastic film.
I feel very privileged to be in this company of performers and they are enjoying working with their Kiwi brothers and sisters. We are a true ensemble.”
“I have a great contract and awesome working conditions and a performance fee that is almost double my “day job” wage.”, says NZ Actors’ Guild member Gareth Ruck. “I look at the hundreds of fellow actors and crew members I’m working with and think how bad it could have been if Equity had it’s way.”
So New Zealand actors will be rubbing shoulders with overseas counterparts but Kiwis are present in this Hollywood film in large numbers and this is to be celebrated. The Hobbit will be providing a good living for many Kiwi film professionals across the board and this is something that could so easily have been taken away from them only months ago.