James Nesbitt thinks of his 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' character as the ''George Clooney of dwarves''.

The Northern Irish actor enjoys his role as Bofur in Sir Peter Jackson's fantasy film, alongside Martin Freeman as the titular Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, and formed a ''brotherhood'' with his co-stars.

He said: ''I'm sort of thinking [I'm the] woman's dwarf, the George Clooney of dwarves. Bofur is considered to be the optimistic one, who always sees the good in most people.

''[Me and the dwarves] worked hard together; but we also played together. The fact is, we really had to become close to make everything work. I suppose we were trying to achieve a level of brotherhood.

''In the story we are on a quest, and it was kind of the same when we were filming.''

While James enjoyed filming in Wellington, New Zealand, he remembers how ''devastated'' his daughters - Peggy and Mary, who he has with wife Sonia Forbes-Adam - were when they moved to the other side of the world, but soon learnt to like it.

He recalled to Britain's HELLO! magazine: ''My daughters were devastated at the thought to begin with. But once they settled in, they loved it. They saw a new culture and new way of life.

''Peggy recently said to me it was the best thing that ever happened to her but that she is pleased to be home.''