Fantasy role Attracts star

Sunday Star Times

November 14th 1999

By Rachel Grunwell

Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett has confirmed she will be in New Zealand in June to star in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Star Times, Blanchett said she would be in the country for six weeks to play the elf Galadriel, the wise queen of Lorien.

“I believe they will be doing something interesting with my ears,” said Blanchett, who read the JRR Tolkien books when she was at school.

Blanchett said Jackson approached her to play the role in the $360 million trilogy and she accepted it almost immediately. She was excited about working with Jackson and coming here for the first time.

She had heard about the beatiful landscape, but admitted she knew little else about the country.

The blonde siren, who was nominated for an Oscar and who won the Golden Globe and Bafta best actress awards for her title role in Elizabeth last year, said she almost almost came here last year for a holiday and to see friends.

Lead roles in Lord of the Rings include Sir Ian McKellan as the wizard Gandalf and Elijah Wood as the young hobbit, Frodo. Liv Tyler plays Arwen, a young elf princess who is prepared to give up her immortality for love of Aragorn, a human.

None of the stars have yet spoken about their roles because they have been hushed by contracts. Rings publicist Claire Raskind said filming in Wellington had finished for the year and the crew hasd shifted to Queenstown.

Meanwhile, musician Neil Finn is to write music for a new Hollywood movie starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. This is according to Baz Luhrmann who has directed a list of big name films, including Strictly Ballroom, and the most recent movie adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Speaking before the opening of Fox Studios in Sydney last week, Luhrmann said he had been working with Finn on music for his latest film, Moulin Rouge.

“Neil and I were trying to work out some music on this film together. I think he’s one of the most extraordinary writers of folk music and lyrics” said Luhrmann. “On Moulin Rouge we were looking to work on something and if not that, we will probably do something in the future. He is someone I’ve been trying to find a way to work with. I love him”

Filming started on Tuesday. Finn’s assistant Amanda McGregor said Finn could not comment because he was too busy recording but had said he “would love to do a musical with Baz Luhrmann”.

Thanks to Super Ringer Spy Xtem for the tip!