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Martin Freeman talks about daunting Hobbit role

Martin Freeman has admitted he feels daunted as he prepares to don Bilbo Baggins' furry feet for The Hobbit .

The actor, best known for his British TV work, was cast in Peter Jackson's two-part Tolkein epic several months ago, after almost missing the opportunity due to Sherlock commitments.

Freeman said he was nervous about about journeying to New Zealand when he spoke to Modcast's Eddie Piller: "It's very daunting - the daunting part is leaving home…"

"I'm a real homebody, even before we had children, I was a homebody, so with children it's like aww... I'm very excited though."

He also spoke about almost missing out on the chance to play Bilbo: "I had to turn it down because of being contractually obliged to do the second series of Sherlock for the BBC, which we are doing in the middle of this year."

"I turned it down with a very heavy heart because things like this don't come your way very often. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as far as scale is concerned."

"It's a huge, huge deal. But I was contracted to do Sherlock . I wanted to do both."

Freeman added: "When I found out I couldn't do both it was very sad. And then it was very flattering when Peter Jackson rearranged the filming around my availability."

In other good Hobbit news, Peter Jackson is reported to have left hospital after undergoing surgery for a perforated ulcer.

The Hobbit is due to start shooting next month, with Part 1 still scheduled for release in December 2012.