Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Kiwi catapults to Hollywood

Kiwi actor William Kircher as dwarf Bifur in The Hobbit, a role which has helped land him a movie lead. Photo / Supplied
Kiwi actor William Kircher as dwarf Bifur in The Hobbit, a role which has helped land him a movie lead. Photo / Supplied

Kiwi actor William Kircher returned from a whirlwind 10 days at Hobbit world premieres to news he has landed a lead role in a new Hollywood movie.

Kircher - who plays dwarf Bifur in the latest Peter Jackson fantasy hit - returned to Wellington on Wednesday after mingling with the stars on the red carpet in New York and London.

He hardly had time to draw breath before being told about his plum part as a smooth-talking villain in an upcoming American thriller, alongside an Oscar-winning actress.

"It is really exciting to get a break like this and I hear being in The Hobbit certainly helped," Kircher told the Herald on Sunday.

"I am sworn to secrecy about details of the movie, which will be shot in October and November.

"But there are some pretty big names involved, including an Academy Award-winning actress."

Kircher partied with stars including Martin Freeman and Cate Blanchett at international premieres for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

He also met Prince William at the Royal opening in London, who told him he was a big fan of Peter Jackson's films.

Kircher's rock singer wife Nicole Chesterman also turned heads on the red carpet, decked out in a dazzling outfit which drew compliments from actress Liv Tyler.

The Kiwi couple even accepted an invitation for their five-piece covers band The California Dreamers to play at an Oscar party in Los Angeles in 2014.

"It was crazy in New York and London," Kircher said. "Fans were camped outside the hotel from 2.30 in the morning in the freezing cold wanting autographs."

Kircher explained his biggest buzz came when The Hobbit dwarves were mistaken for boy band One Direction after they flew to London from New York on the same plane.

"When we landed there was a mix-up with the cars booked for us and One Direction," Kircher said.

"About 100 screaming girls mobbed the vehicles as they thought their pop idols were inside instead of a bunch of film dwarves.

"There was a lot of confusion and one of the band ended up in one of our cars. It was great fun."

Manu Bennett is another Kiwi actor grateful to The Hobbit.

His standout performance as Azog, an orc chieftain, has helped secure him a major role in US superhero drama Arrow, based on the Green Arrow comics.

- Herald on Sunday

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