NewsWire: 'Rings' Makers Suddenly Famous At Home - CNN

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- The emergence of New Line's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" as an Oscar contender couldn't have been more of a surprise to Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson's partner both on the trilogy and in the New Zealand house they share with their two young children. The clan's feeling the pressure of sudden fame, even so far removed from Hollywood, Variety reports.

"New Zealand is as cut off and insulated as the Shire, but as a country it's more like a village, and Peter can't go out now without being accosted," Walsh said.

That hasn't been a problem lately, given that the director has been globetrotting endlessly to promote the blockbuster.

"The other day, John Rhys-Davies, who is unrecognizable playing the dwarf Gimli, was on TV without costume and I said to my daughter, 'look who it is.' She said, 'ooh, it's Daddy,' and I thought, 'we'd better get him home here soon."'

Walsh and Jackson are prepared for the heightened expectations of the sequel, though they feel it has a certain advantage over the first.

"We had to give so much backstory last time so that the audience needed to understand Tolkien's tale," she said. "Next one, we can just take off and assume the audience understands."

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