Exclusive : Billing joins Narnia


New Zealand actor Roy Billing (TVs “Underbelly : A Tale of Two Cities”, “Charlie & Boots”) tells Moviehole that he’s off to Queensland on Monday to film a role in Fox’s “The Chronicles of Narnia:Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.

“I hop on a plane on Monday”, Billing says. “I’m playing Chief Dufflepud – a gnome-like creature who hops around on one leg. There’s a whole heap of [Dufflepuds]. It should take a week or so to film my scene”.

Billing says the first thing he has to do when he arrives is get fitted for his prosthetics.

The Dufflepuds are a curious group of [one-legged] creatures that Eustace, Lucy and their companions come upon in their adventures. Though not intelligent, they have the power of invisibility.

Of the local actors involved in the directed sequel, Gary Sweet (“Macbeth”) has the biggest role, says Billing.

“Gary has quite a big role – he’s playing a Sea Captain. He’s probably in a half to three quarters of the movie”.

Though he’s been working in the industry for 30 years, this is Billing’s first time doing a big Hollywood production. He didn’t need to think twice when asked to come onboard.

“The first Narnia movies were a big success, and I’m sure this will be too – with all the special effects and so on. It should be good”.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the third in the epic series of films based on the bestselling books by C.S. Lewis, began principal photography on location in Queensland, in July. The production, a joint venture between Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Walden Media, continues the franchise which commenced with the spectacular, Oscar®-winning 2005 release, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and its 2008 follow-up, “Prince Caspian,” whose combined global box office gross tops $1.2 billion.

This time around – Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their pesky cousin Eustace Scrubb – find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the very edges of the world.

Joining forces once again with their royal friend Prince Caspian and the warrior mouse Reepicheep, they are whisked away on a mysterious mission to the Lone Islands, and beyond. On this bewitching voyage that will test their hearts and spirits, the trio will face magical Dufflepuds, sinister slave traders, roaring dragons and enchanted merfolk. Only an entirely uncharted journey to Aslan’s Country – a voyage of destiny and transformation for each of those aboard the Dawn Treader – can save Narnia, and all the astonishing creatures in it, from an unfathomable fate.

Michael Apted directs.