Bret McKenzie

Bret McKenzie

Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie (born 29 June 1976 in Wellington, New Zealand) is a comedian, actor, musician and producer, best known for being one half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Jemaine Clement.

McKenzie is a former member of The Black Seeds. He has released an album called Prototype as Video Kid and is a member of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra. McKenzie attended Clifton Terrace Model School (model in the sense of a standard school for training teachers; not a school for models), Wellington College and then Victoria University of Wellington where he met Jemaine Clement who was also studying film and theatre. Together they were members of So You’re a Man. They later formed Flight of the Conchords.

McKenzie has appeared in the first and third films in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. His silent role in the first film achieved some minor internet fame as Figwit.

His father Peter McKenzie played the role of Elendil in Lord of the Rings.

The name Figwit derives from an acronym for “Frodo is great…who is THAT?!?”, a phrase coined by fan Iris Hadad.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, he appears sitting two seats away from Aragorn during the council in Rivendell scene. When it is decided that the Ring must be destroyed, Frodo offers to take the Ring to Mordor, and Elrond proclaims the formation of the Fellowship of the Ring. The elf was dubbed “Figwit” by Tolkien fan Iris Hadad; after seeing Frodo agree to take the ring, saying “I will take it”, the film switches to a shot where Figwit can be seen standing on the far right, and Hadad’s initial reaction was “Frodo is great…who is THAT?!?” Later, Hadad corresponded with her university friend Sherry de Andres, and the two created the first Figwit fan website, http://www.figwitlives.net, calling him “Legolas for the thinking woman”.

McKenzie appeared as Figwit again in the third film, The Return of the King, where he was credited as “Elf Escort”. He appears in the scene where Arwen is leaving for the Grey Havens and has a vision of her future son, Eldarion, this time with two lines warning her to not delay and then exclaiming as she turns around. Director Peter Jackson stated in the DVD commentary for The Return of the King that Figwit was called back and given dialogue in the third film “just for fun for the fans” because “so much fuss has been made about him over the last couple of years”.

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