Asia-Pacific

Jacinda Ardern wins over US fans, reveals she auditioned for Lord of The Rings

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The New Zealand Prime Minister spills the beans on her failed Lord of the Rings audition.

Jacinda Ardern’s appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has won over American viewers. 

The seven minute interview on the American late-night TV show is part of a media blitz by the NZ PM during her United Nations debut in New York.

The interview covered a lot of ground, including revealing how her partner Clarke Gayford tripped over a flag during a photo with the Trumps; and what she was doing when world leaders laughed at US President Donald Trump’s UN speech.

Stephen Colbert's reaction on receiving news of his citizenship of Hobbiton.
Stephen Colbert's reaction on receiving news of his citizenship of Hobbiton.
The Late Show

Ms Ardern also got in a few zingers of her own, surprising Colbert with the news he is receiving an official invitation to become a member of the Hobbit family, a citizen of Hobbiton.

The avid Lord of the Rings fan, attempting to deliver a compliment, said: “You could definitely be described as Hobbit, because you grew up near Hobbiton”.

Ms Ardern soon corrected her host: “I do find it slightly offensive that everyone thinks that every New Zealander starred in either Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit.”

Undeterred, Stephen Colbert had to know: “Were you in Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit?”

To which, Ms Ardern revealed she had auditioned but was not successful.

"Some of us auditioned, but weren’t successful, that’s all I’m going to say."

Jacinda Ardern says Stephen Colbert is welcome to visit New Zealand to officiate the process of becoming a citizen of Hobbiton.
Jacinda Ardern says Stephen Colbert is welcome to visit New Zealand to officiate the process of becoming a citizen of Hobbiton.
The Late Show

Ardern insists she did not join world leaders laughing at Trump

Observing US President Donald Trump’s speech with world leaders, Ms Ardern insisted she did not join world leaders in laughing at Mr Trump’s UN speech.

“Are you trying to create a diplomatic incident right now?” she said to Stephen Colbert’s probing on whether world leaders were laughing at, not with, Mr Trump.

“So there was a little laugh and he said I didn’t expect that response,” she said.

“And then there was a bigger response - and people laughed with him.”

Prompted on whether she joined in on the first laugh, she said: “No, I observed.”

Thirty-eight year-old Ardern is the world’s second elected leader – after Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto - to give birth while in office.

She made headlines earlier this week for taking her baby to the UN meetings.

Americans ‘burning with envy’

The American late-night TV show has four million viewers, a number of whom were quick to chime in on social media with their approval.

“She was very engaging...I'm now a fan. Hope I get to see her speak at UN,” one viewer wrote.

“I’m totally burning with envy in my breast at New Zealand right now,” another viewer posted on Twitter.

Others called for “someone like her” to run the US.

New Zealander @sciencegal_NZ said she was proud to see her country so well-represented on the world stage.

Ms Ardern is not the first New Zealand prime minister to be interviewed on American late-night TV. Sir John Key was interviewed by David Letterman in 2009.

Ms Ardern is also scheduled to appear on the Today Show in an interview with journalist Christiane Amanpour.

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