The Hobbit cast

WATCH: The cast of The Hobbit on their Unexpected Journey

For some fans, waiting for The Hobbit's December 14 release has seemed an almost interminable length of time. But for those involved in the actual production of Peter Jackson's latest big-screen Tolkien trilogy, including actors Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen, it's been literally years in the making. The film's New Zealand shoot lasted a whopping 266 days (exactly the same length of time it took to film the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and, due to Freeman's commitments to "Sherlock", ended up being spread over an 18-month period. Production wrapped back in July, and while post-production work has kept those behind-the-camera well-occupied, the actors have found themselves waiting alongside everyone else for the opportunity to share their Unexpected Journey with audiences.

In advance of the film's world premiere in Wellington, Jackson, Freeman and the rest of the cast sat down to talk about the characters, their epic journey back to Middle-earth, and what to expect when The Hobbit hits theatres. Watch what they had to say now, then read on for an in-depth interview with Thorin himself, Richard Armitage:

Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

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