Elijah Wood has revealed that returning to Middle Earth for the Hobbit films was like "a gift".

The 33-year-old actor reprised his role of hobbit Frodo Baggins in the first instalment of Peter Jackson's Hobbit prequel trilogy, An Unexpected Journey - almost a decade after the last Lord Of The Rings film, The Return Of The King.

He also cameos as Frodo in Air New Zealand's new safety video, alongside Dean O'Gorman (Fili the dwarf), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast) and director Peter, and is tipped to return for the final film, The Battle Of The Five Armies.

"It was a gift. It was like being given an invite to a family reunion," he said.

"I honestly never thought I would play Frodo again, I never thought I'd go back to Middle Earth. I never thought I'd be back in New Zealand in that context, so to be given the chance to come back and visit old friends again and see (Sir Ian) McKellen as Gandalf and so many of the crew members who had worked on Lord Of The Rings, it was a really lovely thing."

He added: "I thought that part of my life was done and I got to see it again without all of the pressure, give it a hug and move on."

Elijah, who stars as American poet John Malcolm Brinnin in biopic Set Fire To The Stars, treasures his special souvenir after shooting the big-screen adaptations of JRR Tolkien's novels.

"In The Lord Of The Rings, Bilbo has this red book that he's writing his memoirs in. I have that book," he said.

"They gave it to me on my last day, which is really lovely. I've got it hidden away somewhere. I don't have any special place for these things."

Set Fire To The Stars, which stars Celyn Jones as Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, opens in cinemas on November 7.