Martin Freeman almost rejected ‘Hobbit’ role


LONDON, June 25: Martin Freeman has revealed he almost turned down the lead role in “The Hobbit” franchise as he feared he would not be able to give time to his family.
The 47-year-old British actor, who played Bilbo Baggins in the iconic series, said going far away to New Zealand to shoot the films was a bone of contention for him.

“It wasn’t an easy ‘yes’. I went to New Zealand in January 2011 and my last day was July 2013 – two-and-a-half years between the beginning and the end,” Freeman said.

He was speaking at his BAFTA career retrospective, A Life In Pictures, reported FemaleFirst.

The actor said it took him time to say yes as he could not have asked his then partner and “Sherlock” co-star Amanda Abbington to keep her career on hold for him.

“I was going to be away for a long time and Amanda, who I was with at the time, she’s an actor, a brilliant actor, and it wasn’t the ’50s (so) I didn’t feel I could say, ‘Right, you’re coming with me.’ She had her own life, her own career,” he said.

Freeman, who was in a relationship with Abbington, announced their separation in 2016.

They share two children, Joe, 13, and Grace, 11. (PTI)