‘This is as close to bliss as an actor can get’ says Ian McKellen during The Hobbit rehearsals

Ian McKellen has been blogging again. Earlier this month he told us all about seeing Martin Freeman testing out his Hobbit feet and seeing Bilbo Baggins in 3D, and how he’s blogged about The Hobbit cast rehearsals which are currently taking place.

From McKellen.com:

Today I was in various places which are all the same place.

I was on flat land the Maori called Whataitai until renamed in 1872, Miramar, or “Behold the Sea,” which is indeed nearby.

I was in Stone Street Studios in the heart of a modern suburb, with some light industry.

In fact, I was in an old paint factory, which I knew ten years back as the main film studio for The Lord of the Rings. Inside was the new set for Bag End, including a bedroom and pantry.

And I was there too, in Hobbiton, with a semi-circle of dwarves and Bilbo, their reluctant host. I was at the cast’s first joint rehearsal where Peter Jackson, with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, invited our comments on their script so far. This is as close to bliss as an actor can get. Facing three Oscar-winning screenplay writers who genuinely want us actors to contribute. AND there were piles of snacks on the coffee tables: fresh fruit, NZ cheese, Minties.

Two of the cast have forsworn deserts during Lent. Not me, not yet. At lunch I took seconds of the flourless chocolate cake and sour cream.

Head over to McKellen’s website to see a behind the scenes photo of him and Irish actor James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur the dwarf.

Cameras will start rolling at the start of next week, and then there’s no looking back until The Hobbit: Part 1 is released December 2012, followed by The Hobbit: Part 2 in December 2013.