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Stars lead the way in Hobbit premiere
Cate Blanchett poses on the red carpet. Picture: Reuters

Cate Blanchett led the stars at 'The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey' world premiere yesterday in Wellington, New Zealand.

The blonde actress - who plays enchantress Galadriel in the fantasy franchise - was joined by her eight-year-old son Roman on a red carpet transformed into make-believe world Middle Earth and were greeted by nearly 100,000 fans who gathered to get a glimpse at their favourite characters.

Elijah Wood, 31, took the time to reminisce about how the role of hobbit Frodo Baggins catapulted him to stardom in the first 'Lord Of The Rings' film in 2001.

He said: "This is echoing the past for me."

Other cast members including Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage and Hugo Weaving also attended, while Sir Ian McKellen, who plays wizard Gandalf, thanked fans for their enthusiasm via a video message as he was unable to fly out.

Cate, 41, wasn't the only guest joined by their offspring as director Sir Peter Jackson was accompanied by his 16-year-old daughter Katie as he explained his reasoning behind holding the first screening where the filming took place.

He told reporters: "It's the home crowd isn't it? You can't do better. I do know that if I didn't have a movie here for the premiere, I'd be in awful trouble. I'd be in the poo, as we say.

"This is an incredible experience because you spend so long shooting a movie where you're just focusing on the film and you want to keep everybody out.

"And then suddenly one day the film's finished and the next morning you wake up and there's 100,000 people coming to celebrate. It sort of flips your head upside down."

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' tells the first part of Tolkien's famous book and follows hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) on his journey to reclaim the lost Kingdom of Erebor.