Seven global actors’ unions have instructed their members to walk away from roles in the two big-budget Lord of the Rings prequels because producers have allegedly refused to negotiate a deal guaranteeing wages and working conditions for performers in New Zealand. Unions in the US, Australia, the UK and Canada, acting under the umbrella of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), said Kiwi performers had “struggled on non-union contracts” for some years during filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They said the contracts “provide no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions”, no payment for future broadcasts and no cancellation payments. More..


  1. Urge to riot rising…

  2. Anonymous

    Actors are ungrateful little shits. Was the first phone call that Karl Urban made as soon as he found out he was cast in LOTR to NZ Actors Equity? I seriously doubt it.

    His breaks in Hollywood came from the break that PJ gave him.

    I’ve worked for the man myself, I have seen close up both at Stone Street and at Park Road Post how much he has sunk in to the local film industry and I really resent some egotistical Ozzie stand over men shitting on what he has worked so hard to establish.

    Australian unions have a very dark history as bullies and nasty bastards and if I and my workmates miss out on the work that the Hobbit would have provided we will be extremely pissed off.

  3. The current flap is reminiscent of the Broadway/Actors Equity flap awhile back over the show Miss Saigon. The London producers requested, as it the practice, to bring their stars over then cast supporting roles with Americans. Equity tried to insist that all Asian roles be played by Asians which would have Resulted in Jonathan Pryce not being able to recreate his star role. In that case the producers made it clear that without Mr Pryce there would be no production, and Equity’s own Asian members started protesting that they didnt get enough work as it was and Equity was cutting its nose to spite it face by causing the cancellation of a show that would have given dozens of them work. Eventually Equity caved and the show went on. Sadly the New Zeeland unions short sightedness will probably result in little or no work at all for their actors under any circumstances.

    • Stud40

      This movie has been doomed from the start. I believe the greed of the almighty dollar. I don’t even care anymore if it’s made or not. Actually I’m just sick of hearing about it.

  4. Nina

    @ gaskranken

    LOL. So nice of you to think only of yourself. Try making a movie without actors. Karl Urban has mentioned in the past about the crappy working conditions of actors in NZ. Viva la Union.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Nina, just trying to remember the last actor to employ 4000 people for two years but having trouble locating any names. Tried google but no luck there either.

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