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British actor Andy Serkis has been handed a huge honour on the set of the Lord Of The Rings prequel, The Hobbit, in New Zealand - moviemaker Peter Jackson has made him his second unit director.
The star, who shot to fame as Gollum in the Lord of The Rings trilogy and will reprise the role in The Hobbit, will oversee select location work on Jackson's two upcoming films.
Serkis tells The Hollywood Reporter that Jackson hired him because he understood the material and the director's vision.
Serkis says, "There was this email out of the blue. It was a fantastic surprise."
The new role is sure to give the actor's directing career a big boost - he hopes to take charge of his first feature film after wrapping work on The Hobbit films.