Irishman Aidan Turner, 31, who is best known for his pint-sized character Kili in the trilogy, was at the Odessa Internal Film Festival when trouble flared
By GEORGINA STUBBS
An actor who stars in the Hobbit trilogy became a real-life hero after tackling a mugger who tried to steal a fan’s handbag.
Aidan Turner, best known for his pint-sized character Kili, was at the Odessa International Film Festival when the incident happened.
Whilst outside the Hotel Bristol in the Ukrainian city, he stopped to talk to one young female fan when a cyclist came alongside, grabbed her handbag and accelerated off.
The Irish actor said: “Fortunately I am not really as short as people who saw the film think I am. They achieved that special effect with millions of dollars of cinema trickery.”
In reality the 31-year-old is not only fit but also at 1.8 metres tall, much taller than his on-screen character.
He quickly managed to catch up with the thief, pulling him off his bike and grabbing the handbag. But when other people ran up, in the confusion the thief managed to get back on the bike and escape.
The actor said he had been unsure what rules applied to citizens arrests in the country and after recovering the bag he had simply returned it to his grateful fan.
Afterwards after being told that he was a hero he joked: “It’s great to be a real hero for a change rather than just an on-screen one. I think the rescue though was more like something from Indiana Jones than the Hobbit.”
The actor was at the festival in between location filming for the remake of TV show Poldark.
Other guests at the festival included Lord David Puttnam and director Stephen Frears, who all had wanted to support the festival given the state of unrest in the Ukraine at the moment.
He admitted that he had got the role as Kili in the Hobbit despite having to admit to the director that he had not read the book.
Aidan added: “I think the fact that I was honest with him meant that we had a trusting relationship from the start and that meant it worked well.”