Peter Jackson casts a Lost star and Dame Edna in The Hobbit

According to director/writer/producer/geek hero Peter Jackson, The Hobbit has finished its first block of shooting. While he's scouting for locations for the next part of the shoot, he's taken the time to tell his Facebook fans the latest news.

Jackson and his co-writers (Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Fran Walsh) have added a new character, Tauriel, a woodland elf. Jackson posted to his Facebook page, "Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas.)"

Tauriel will be played by Evangeline Lilly, better known as Kate from Lost. We can't think of better casting, because when we think of actresses who run through a forest, we think of Lilly. (Okay, some of her Lost co-stars also come to mind.)

Jackson has also made another casting decision:

"I'm also highly excited that Barry Humphries will be portraying the Goblin King, in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum. Barry is perhaps best known for his business and social connections as the long-time manager of Dame Edna Everage.... However, in his spare time, Barry is also a fine actor, and we're looking forward to seeing him invest the Goblin King with the delicate sensitivity and emotional depth this character deserves."

Barry Humphries is an Australian comedian whose alter ego, Dame Edna, is perhaps better known than he is. Although Dame Edna is a frequent presence in Australian and U.K. television, Americans aren't as familiar with her.

For a look at Dame Edna doing what she does best, check her out on interview show Friday Night With Jonathan Ross ... where she puts Jonathan in the hot seat.

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