There and back again: Welsh Lord of the Rings actors set for return as production shifts from NZ
Homesick Welsh Lord of the Rings actors are set to return home after Amazon announced that filming for the second season would move from New Zealand to locations in Britain.
Welsh speakers Owain Arthur, Morfydd Clark and Trystan Gravelle are among the actors included in the $465 million series, with Lloyd Owen (London-born to Welsh parents) also part of the cast.
Morfydd Clarke from Penarth, who is rumoured to play a young Galadriel, had previously said that homesickness had still had an impact on her during the pandemic.
“You know they say you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child?” she said. “I know I must make the most of being here. But you can’t. This isn’t quite my world and I know that my world isn’t doing this.”
She added however that having two other Welsh-speaking members in the cast, and a costume designer who spoke Welsh, had helped her feel at home in New Zealand. Filming wrapped on August 2nd.
Middle Earth’s association with New Zealand began in 1999 when Peter Jackson filmed the original trilogy there. Amazon continued to film there for the first season of the production but announced today that the second season would shift to Britain.
Amazon’s announcement came after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned yesterday that Covid border controls, which forced actors to self-isolate for 14 days, would stay in place until next year.
David Strong, chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission, said Amazon’s decision to pull the production was “a shame”.
“I feel for everyone who has put their hearts into this production. Season two was expected to begin later in 2022, so our role now is to work hard to keep the Kiwi screen sector employed,” he said.
The release date for the first series is September next year.