A New Report from the Set of The Hobbit!
My alarm went off at 5am and I once again took the gorgeous 40 minute drive from my Hamilton, NZ hotel up through the rolling farmland hills towards Hobbiton. At base camp I barely had a moment to scarf down a quick breakfast before being whisked to the wardrobe tent to shed my human clothes and gain my new Hobbit skin.
I gotta say, the actual wardrobe was incredibly comfortable. Loose, suedey, just warm enough to cut down on the morning chill and covering enough to save my delicate “living-life-in-a-movie-theater-and-in-front-of-a-computer-screen” pasty white skin from the burning rays of the sun.
With a spring in my step I made my way to get the Hobbit ears put on, another innocuous process (the pain and torment would come later after the ears were removed and the sticky remnants of the spirit gum refused to leave my skin and hair for a week), and then I was off to the makeup trailer.
The worst part about the process was having to shave my beard off. I’d be willing to bet there’s a fair amount of AICN readers that understand why that particular process wasn’t my favorite. Big guys use their beards like shields. My shield was taken away from me because Shire-folk don’t have facial hair, so my saggy jowls would be immortalized for all time.
A lovely lady named Ricci-Lee turned my irritated, pale beardless face into a nice solid Hobbitesque visage, rosy cheeks and all. The wig was a surprising amount of work, the netting clipped to my real hair by bobby pins, hair clips and, ultimately, glue. My own hair was blasted with industrial strength hairspray and laid as flat as possible. Still, there was a lot of tugging to get the wig fitted, but when it was on it looked great. Of course, I immediately covered it up with a floppy Hobbit hat, but you could still see wild curls underneath.
Up to this point I had been tooling around base camp in my shoes and socks. It was time to shed the last vestige of humanity and take the final step of my transformation. That’s right, it was time for my feet.