Irish actor Aidan Turner relishes his return in “The Hobbit" (VIDEO)


For Turner though, the biggest challenge was filming the love scenes with Lilly, who was frequently on a different set. Because of the size difference between their characters in the film, the pair often had to be in entirely separate locations and act as if they were just inches apart.

For Bloom, 36, it was also a challenge being jealous of a man he couldn’t physically see, shooting jealous looks at a tennis ball on a piece of string. But there’s no doubt that Turner’s role in this chapter has become even more central to the story arc than it was in Tolkien’s original.

That’s why one of Jackson’s key scenes in the film involves fellow Irish actor James Nesbitt, John Cullen and Turner himself being dropped off on a mountain in New Zealand’s epic South Island.

The four actors, in full dwarf costume, steadily make their way up a hill while second-unit director Andy Serkis (Gollum in The Rings trilogy) films them from an overhead helicopter. It was that moment, Turner says, that linked The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings and it anchors the whole new installment.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens Friday, December 13.