Widely known for his roles in The Office and Sherlock, Freeman readily admits The Hobbit is “the biggest film I’ll ever do”. So is he nervous ahead of its much-anticipated release? “I’m excited about seeing it - I want to like it, I want to be pleased with it, and I want to be proud of it. There are inevitably bits that you’ll wish you were better in, but Peter Jackson is a very skilled director and he knows Middle Earth better than anybody else.
”I’m very hopeful, but also nervous because I want to please myself first of all, and I also hope everyone else likes it.”
And what about his Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch who’s also involved in the project, portraying deadly dragon Smaug? “Benedict and I did cross over very briefly - he was out there after Christmas doing his bit. I saw him for just one day.”
”There was a big contingent of new blood. The mixture of people who’d done Rings and people who hadn’t was a nice one - I wasn’t the only person coming into a club. We all looked after each other and you couldn’t be in a friendlier place than New Zealand - they’re pathologically friendly.
"I loved the Lord of the Rings films - I hadn’t read the books, but I thoroughly enjoyed Peter’s take on them. And I have, of course, read The Hobbit - I love the scenes in Gollum’s cave. The first bit we filmed was when Bilbo and Gollum (played by Andy Serkis) have a great theatrical scene which consists of telling each other riddles, with Bilbo’s life depending on getting these riddles right. It’s a beautifully written scene and Andy Serkis as Gollum is just a star in every regard."