Bruce Hopkins

Bruce Hopkins


11/25/1955, Rakiura (Stewart Island), New Zealand

Birth Name

Raymond Bruce Hopkins


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Born in the month of November in 1955, from the age of three Bruce grew up in Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. He was active in such sports as rugby, waterpolo, basketball. He also received a surf lifesaving bronze medal at the national competition & was a…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2011, Bruce won "Best Supporting Actor - International" at the Los Angeles Movie Awards.

    • In 2010, Bruce won the "Best Nationwide MC" at the Corporate Events Guide People Choice Awards.

    • Bruce has appeared in a number of short films, including Dinner With the DeRezneys- 48 Hour Film (2005), Point Annihilate (2003), and Warm Gun (1996).

    • In 2005, Bruce was one of the featured performers at the Kiri Te Kanawa 50th Birthday celebrations.

    • Bruce's theatre credits include:
      (2006) The Holy Sinner New Zealand International Arts Festival, Dir Michael Mizrahi
      (2005) Jack & the Beanstalk "Squire Smelly" St James Theatre, Auckland, AK05 Festival, Dir Michael Hurst
      (2004) A Christmas Carol "Bob Cratchet/Mr Fezziwig" Auckland Theatre Company, Sky City Theatre, Auckland, Dir Jennifer Ward-Lealand
      (2004) Macbeth "McBeth" Silo Theatre, Auckland, Dir Margaret-Mary Hollins
      (1993) Lovelock's Dream Run Pike/Fritz/Reporter #2/Kiddie Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Raymond Hawthorne
      (1993) Ladies Night 2: Raging On The Court Theatre, Christchurch
      (1989) The Three Musketeers "Buckingham" Mercury Theatre Company, Dir Raymond Hawthorne
      (1987) Ladies Night "Norman" Mercury Theatre Company, Dir David Coddington
      (1987) The Sound of Music "Franz/Churchman/Storm Trooper" Mercury Theatre Company

    • Bruce is listed with Speakers New Zealand, which provides public speakers, and with the Luko Agency, which books actors for conventions (for his role of Gamling in The Lord of the Rings).

    • Bruce was very popular with the Pacific Renaissance production company. He had major guest starring roles on Hercules, Xena, Young Hercules, Cleopatra 2525, and is featured prominently in the opening credits dance sequence for the show Jack of All Trades.

    • Bruce is one of fifteen New Zealand actors suing New Line Cinema for royalties on merchandise from The Lord of the Rings movies.

    • Bruce has wrapped shooting on Sony PlayStation 3s Heavenly Sword. The game is being developed by Ninja Theory, in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and the services of New Zealands Weta Digital. Andy Serkis is directing the martial arts game, and also plays an evil king (Andy was the actor behind Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, as well as being the human face behind the giant ape of the movie King Kong).

    • As well as voicing the character of Choobo on Power Rangers, Bruce is also part of a 6 person loop group that provides the background human sounds and voices.

    • The producers of the Lord of the Rings trilogy presented a few select cast and crew with a limited edition book about the project. Inside Bruce's copy, Fran Walsh wrote, "Thanks for creating a character we didn't know we needed."

    • Bruce was thrilled when he was called and told that they were making a Gamling action figure, since it meant that his character was considered important enough to warrant it.

    • Bruce switched from dancing to acting when his girlfriend told him she was pregnant. Being part of a dancing company meant being on the road touring, whereas acting he could do at home, and be a full time parent.

    • Bruce does a comedy radio show once a week with Alan Reid called Les and Des. They also take their act on the road, performing live as corporate or conference entertainment.

    • As a member of the cast for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bruce got to go to some of the Oscars parties for the movie. It brought him an experience he found priceless- he got the chance to walk over to Sean Connery and tell him how much he appreciated him as an actor!

    • In 2003, Bruce was awarded "Best Actor" at the Paris Film Festival for the film Henchman.

    • Bruce's favorite scene in The Two Towers is when Gamling helps Theoden put on his armor. One of the things he loves about it is that his two boys were on set for the filming, and they were in the background of the shoot.

    • Bruce's favorite role was Gamling for The Two Towers, and his favorite fellow actor is Kevin Smith.

    • Bruce played Gamling in The Two Towers, the second movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gamling was a small part as written, but Peter Jackson liked Bruce's work so much that he was given some additional scenes with King Theoden.

    • Bruce loves the water. He surfs, and plays water polo. He also was a lifeguard.

    • Bruce didn't plan to go into acting. He began his working life as a commercial fisherman.

    • Bruce is represented professionally by the firm Johnson & Laird Management.

  • Quotes

    • Bruce: (on the New Zealand acting scene) At present, I feel there is a real danger we will become the 'Asian sweatshop' for global film. What Peter Jackson has created is a fascinating example. We still have to work hard at getting equitable rates etc, but at least what he does because of his decision to be based here feeds the local scene on all sorts of levels. These other blockbusters and movie-of-the-week projects don't have any commitment to NZ once they have their product in the can. People who work on them, cast and crew, see very little if any progress in terms of their internationally recognised talents when the next job comes to town.

    • Bruce: (on suing New Line Cinema over "LOTR" merchandizing profits) For me it will be the sort of money where I can buy myself a better car. There might be a couple [of fellow plaintiffs] who could look at a house.

    • Bruce: Around the world when I get invited to fan conventions and things because I had a featured role in Lord of the Rings people say that even if you do nothing else in your career you've already got a wonderful legacy and that is cool.

    • Bruce: My advice to anyone trying to get into acting is to sort out a parallel income income stream separate to acting, so you're free to pursue your acting, but you're not dependent in it to make your money.

    • Bruce: (about taking part in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) If I achieve nothing else in my career as an actor, this is a pretty cool gig to have been part of. It's one of cinema's greatest-ever projects and I had a decent role.

    • Bruce: (when asked the worst part of filming "The Two Towers") My sword (which was hit aside by a stunty coming through the main gate, honest!) hit Bernard Hill on the ear, he had to be taken to an ambulance to have a stitch put in the cut. He promptly came back to set, had a aspirin and carried on- a legend. He was the one who told me he saw the Uruk hit my sword which then hit him. I still felt a bit of a heel.

    • Bruce: I will never not acknowledge the fans. Last year, I have no idea how I would have survived financially if I hadn't been able to go to conventions and be paid to sign my autograph.

    • Bruce: (when asked if he read "The Two Towers" before playing Gamling) I grabbed a copy of the book as soon as I got to Wellington. The first thing I did was scoot through and find any reference to Gamling, and I must admit my initial reaction was one in which my ego took a hammering. There were only three or four reference points. But then, I saw that he talked a little bit in the book, and I realized that it was a matter of just being grateful for being there at all.

    • Bruce: My main desire, as an actor, is that I would love to work with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh on King Kong. My second desire- apart from my personal stuff of wanting to be as good a human as I can and be the best parent I can be- is just working more as an actor.