McKenzie, who is married and has two children with New Zealand publicist Hannah Clarke, will return to New Zealand next month for the world premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington.
The Kiwi has a cameo as an elf in Peter Jackson's much-anticipated adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's novel, a role he was offered after appearing in the first and third Lord of the Rings movies.
"There was no mullet for my Hobbit role," he laughs. "The mullet was taken off and the ears put on. But the elves are supposed to be eternal so there was a lot more make-up this time to make it look like they hadn't aged 10 years."
McKenzie describes filming alongside Hugo Weaving and Sir Ian McKellen as surreal but a lot of fun - "Yeah, having lunch with Gandalf was pretty cool," he says with a chuckle - but moreover he's delighted that the spotlight will be back on New Zealand.
"Peter Jackson has made it famous. When I tell people I am from New Zealand it's the first thing they associate with the place. That and Once Were Warriors."
Any cameos or other significant walk-on parts?
Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords gets a couple of lines as an elf having had little to say when he played another elf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. If there was the traditional Peter Jackson cameo, it wasn't obvious.
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