Comic-Con: How Kiwi stars shaped up

By Leena Tailor

Here's how the NZ stars fared as they faced the fans and what they said at the world's biggest pop culture expo over the weekend in San Diego.
Peter Jackson and his Hobbit cast, Rose McIver and Anna Jullienne in Over The Moon. Photo / AP, Getty Images, Supplied
Peter Jackson and his Hobbit cast, Rose McIver and Anna Jullienne in Over The Moon. Photo / AP, Getty Images, Supplied

The Hobbit gang

The Hobbit cast at Comic-Con. Photo / AP

Middle-earth's finest reunited to reflect on the end of their journey through J.R.R Tolkien's world:

Sir Peter Jackson: "Ian McKellen's last day was the hardest, having been through this whole thing with him. [After we wrapped], it was like, 'You're done. We're going to see you again but Gandalf is finished.' Those to me are the most intense moments of closure that end the film."

Philippa Boyens: "I've been working with some of the actors and it's interesting to go, 'Wow, this is the last time you need to do that voice.' But I can't imagine Andy is never going to do Gollum again.

Andy Serkis: My mission is do the GPS version of Gollum. I think that would confuse the hell out of the driver. Or I can basically just go to parties for the rest of my life.

Evangeline Lilly: "You and Paris Hilton!"

Orlando Bloom: "I was 21 when we started. Pete's youngest was three when we arrived in New Zealand and she's just celebrated her 18th birthday."

Jackson: "Hands off Orly!"

Watch The Hobbit cast's full Comic-Con panel below:

Rose McIver and the NZ telly squad

Actress Rose McIver at Comic-Con. Photo / Getty Images

After hitting the exhibition hall and tweeting photos of fans donning backpacks featuring her giant, zombified face, Rose McIver was glad not to be recognised as her iZombie alter-ego Liv.

"It's quite funny seeing myself on the bags. I look so different in real life... I hope... touch wood! So I don't get recognised as that character - I'm more often recognised as [Once Upon a Time's] TinkerBell. But it's fun and exciting to see people caring about the show and getting the buzz going."

McIver also had time for a reunion with her The Lovely Bones director, Sir Peter Jackson, and his Los Angeles-based Heavenly Creatures star Melanine Lynskey.

After a run of high-profile US television roles on Lost, The OC, Once Upon a Time and Hot in Cleveland, what drew Alan Dale to Syfy drama Dominion?

"I often see people being interviewed and asked what it is they look for in a character. They'll go into a big, long story. Mine's very brief - the ones that are offered to me are the ones that I take."

Fresh from doing five episodes as Dr Goran on his Canadian series Saving Hope, Daniel Gillies tried to get his mind back into vampire mode to fill press in on season two of The Originals. The ""beautiful exhaustion" of first-time fatherhood didn't help.

How to deal with playing lead in two primetime series, promotional duties and his 10-month-old daughter Charlotte?


Fellow Hollywood dad Grant Bowler may be bracing himself for raising a teenage daughter in "image-obsessed" Los Angeles, but 12-year-old Edie has nothing on his screen daughter Irisa in Defiance.

"Nolan has the worst teenage daughter in humankind history!" he told fans. "Can we all agree upon that? It keeps getting harder and harder to be a father!"

Bowler's former Outrageous Fortune co-star Antony Starr meanwhile described upcoming season three of his HBO series as "Banshee on steroids".

Over the Moon

A scene from Over the Moon.

While The Hobbit's Boyens was on Middle-earth duty, her actor son Calum Gittins was gracing the big screen alongside former Shortland Streeter Anna Jullienne in a screening of the Auckland Media Design School's short film Over the Moon.

The audience were in hysterics through the feature, following female heroine Connie Radar (Julienne) as she goes up against robots and astronauts to prevent the first moon landing.

"We were halfway through this and the trailers for Gravity came out," said director and senior 3D lecturer James Cunningham.

Watch the trailer for Over the Moon below:

"It was like, 'Oh no! Someone else is doing CG astronauts and they look really good.' That raised the bar."

In the Q&A afterwards, one fan expressed her gratitude for having a female lead in the sci-fi short.

"I want to thank you for that. There are a lot of women in this fandom, who love science fiction and you really don't see a lot strong female roles."

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