Stephen Colbert Goes Hobbit for EW Covers

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It’s fitting that The Hobbit Trilogy and The Colbert Report will end their runs at the same time, since Stephen Colbert seems intrinsically linked with Peter Jackson’s new movies, including a cameo as a Laketown spy in The Desolation of Smaug. Now the superfan gets to pay tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien the best way he knows how: Dressing as Gandalf, Legolas and Bilbo for Entertainment Weekly. Check it out in the gallery below!

“Just me and a few of my friends got together to play dress-up,” Colbert says. “Lucky for me, my ‘friends’ are the wardrobe department for ‘The Hobbit.’ The original costumes and wigs were flown in from New Zealand just for me. They didn’t even fly the costumes out of New Zealand for the actors! They had to wear them there!”

Besides appearing on three EW covers to tie in with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Colbert writes a tribute essay and has a Q&A with Jackson in the issue, where he talks about what the world of Middle-earth means to him.

“Tolkien’s work has been a lifelong haven for me—truly a light in dark places when all other lights went out,” he writes. “For an awkward teenager, Middle-earth was a world I could escape to. Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth also gave me a world to escape to, but by the time his films came out, I was rich and famous and didn’t really want to escape my life anymore. Still, great movies.”

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, hitting theaters December 17, concludes the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins, who joins the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

The film’s massive cast includes Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, John Bell, Manu Bennett, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Lawrence Makoare, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Mikael Persbrandt and Aidan Turner.