STARSTRUCK: Silverstream’s Johnny Grindlay, 14, reckons The Lord Of The Rings film crew are awesome after spending last week on their Taita set.
MAARTEN HOLL/The Evening Post
Teen feels like lord of Rings set
By Tom Cardy
The Evening Post – August 14, 2000
A Silverstream teenager and his mother have nothing but praise for The Lord Of The Rings security guards, after the 14-year-old was invited on to the Taita set and met some of the film’s stars last week.
Johnny Grindlay spent 20 minutes on the set on Monday, all day Tuesday and part of Wednesday and Thursday after security guards saw him peering from the street early each morning.
“Everyone was really nice . . . I was a bit surprised that they’d be that friendly to someone normal sitting outside watching. It’s really awesome.”
Johnny, who cycled to the set each morning, met several of the $360 million film trilogy’s stars, including Sir Ian McKellen who plays the wizard Gandalf, American actor Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) and Kiwi actor Craig Parker (Haldir).
Johnny’s mother, Colleen Grindlay, contacted The Evening Post after it reported complaints from two people over treatment by security guards near two Hutt Valley sets.
Upper Hutt resident Alan Seymour said guards warned him he could be attacked by the crew if he wandered any further near a set on the Hutt River.
Ms Grindlay said she saw Mr Seymour’s confrontation and the guard was very polite. “This guy (Mr Seymour) was quite aggressive back. I was quite impressed by the way the security guard handled the situation.
“All (the guards), without exception, have been lovely. He (Johnny) has never had any aggressiveness (from them). It’s been the opposite. They have realised his interest in it and have been very co-operative.”
Johnny said he got hooked on The Lord Of The Rings after reading it this year. He had now set up a website devoted to the film. Earlier this year, he briefly visited the Helm’s Deep set, near Haywards Hill.
Ms Grindlay and her other son, 10-year-old Luke, also got to meet British actor Sean Bean (Boromir). She said Johnny was able to visit the site during the week because he was home-schooled. He had to complete his studies when he returned home each day.