The trilogy's main filming returned to Wellington last week after three weeks in the Waikato, though it is understood Tyier, star of Stealing Beauty and Armageddon, was not required in Matamata.
Film sources said legendary horror actor Christopher Lee has been spotted at Jackson's Miramar studio. Lee plays Saruman, the evil wizard chief desperate to snare the ring for himself.
Another Rings star Cate Blanchett, who won a Golden Globe award for her title role in Elizabeth, has yet to arrive. She plays the elf Galadriel, wise queen of Lorien.
In Auckland, Waiheke Island has hosted a galaxy of stars.
Actors Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, comedian couple Dawn French and Lenny Henry and singer Michael Crawford have all been seen on the island. A manager at Salvage restaurant said locals had seen Cruise and Kidman's "big white boat" anchored in Oneroa Bay. One local saw the couple walking on Oneroa beach. The restaurant served French and Henry a week ago, he said.
Crawford, wearing dark glasses and a cap, ate at the restaurant with a local real estate agent about two weeks ago. "The agent later told me he was looking a property on the island," said the manager.
Stonyridge vineyard manager Leigh Andersen said Prince Michael of Kent, the Sultan of Malaysia and the Sultan of Oman had stayed in the last couple of weeks.
"Prince Michael of Kent was really thoughtful and easy to talk to. We had to address him as your royal highness on the first instance and then after that, sir."
Anderson said Kiwi-Australian actor Russell Crowe stayed at the vineyard during Christmas.
13th January 2000
Sunday Star Times (OSKAR ALLEY and RACHEL GRUNWELL)