14 Dec 2009

Wellington hosts stars for Lovely Bones premiere

11:20 pm on 14 December 2009

A glitzy premiere for Peter Jackson's new film The Lovely Bones was held in Wellington on Monday evening.

The acclaimed director joined the film's stars, including Saoirse Ronan and a barefoot Susan Sarandon at the capital's Embassy Theatre for the red carpet premiere.

The Lovely Bones tells the fictional story of a teenager who has been murdered and watches over her family and its attempts to find her killer from the afterlife.

It is almost four years to the day since the capital last held an event of this kind, for the premiere of Jackson's King Kong.

A brand new 100 metre red carpet was rolled out from the Embassy Theatre's entrance for the premiere, which began at 7.30pm.

A crowd of more than 5000 was expected in Courtenay Place for the festivities.

The film was shot mostly in Pennsylvania, although parts were also filmed in Wellington and much of the production was completed in the capital.

Speaking at a news conference earlier on Monday, Jackson told reporters Wellington was central to the production.

"The heart of the film is here - it's where we live and work and so this does feel like coming home.

"You're always nervous when someone sees your film, obviously, but this is the fun premiere tonight."

Sarandon praises Jackson

United States actor Susan Sarandon praised Jackson in an interview with Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon on Monday morning.

Sarandon said she had no qualms about accepting her role as the family matriarch Grandma Lynn.

"Peter Jackson is someone that you have to take seriously if he writes you a letter and asks you to be in a film of his. I'm easy - I was completely seduced immediately."

Sarandon says she thought The Lovely Bones would be a perfect hybrid between his Heavenly Creatures and other films which were heavy on special effects.

"I was very eager to see what he had up his sleeve."

The Lovely Bones opens nationwide on 26 December.