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Tolkien TV show seeks burns victims, amputees as extras

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Amazon is bringing ‘The Lord of the Rings’ to the small screen.
Image Credit: Warner Bros Entertainment

A New Zealand casting agency is appealing for aspiring actors with facial burns, missing limbs and other “funky” looks to become extras in a Lord of the Rings television series.

The Amazon Studios’ show is set to resume shooting in Auckland after a coronavirus-related halt in production, prompting an urgent casting call from talent agency BGT.

“Funky looking people needed!” the company posted on its Facebook page, urging readers to tag a suitable friend.

“Do you have an overbite, face burns, long skinny limbs, deep cheekbones, lines on your face, acne scars, ears that stick out, bulbous or interesting noses, small eyes, big eyes, any deformities, skinny faces, missing limbs — do you look unusual?”

Amazon is reportedly spending US$1 billion-plus on the series as it seeks to emulate the runaway success enjoyed by ‘Games of Thrones’.

New Zealand was selected as the shooting location last year, although the production is not linked to Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ trilogies, which were also filmed in the Kiwi director’s homeland.

The series is expected to explore storylines set in author JRR Tolkien’s fantasy realm of Middle Earth long before the events depicted in Jackson’s films.

Previous BGT casting calls for the series have sought “hairy, hairy people”, “stocky mean-looking bikers”, redheads, Eurasians, and people who are androgynous, freckled or wrinkled.

Extras who stand over 1.95 metres (6’ 5”) or below 1.45 metres (4’ 8”) are also in demand, as are sword fighters, archers, and gymnasts.

The show is scheduled to debut next year, although it is unclear whether plans have been delayed by the virus-enforced shutdown.


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