Stephen Fry couldn't be bothered to read 'The Hobbit', despite starring in the film.

The British actor is playing the money-hungry Master of Laketown in the second instalment of Sir Peter Jackson's epic trilogy, 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug', and confessed he had no idea who his character was when he flew out to New Zealand to shoot the film last year.

The star joked he hasn't got a clue what happens in the movie and is looking forward to the final edit because he only skim-read his own scenes in J. R. R. Tolkien's original novel.

He said: ''I usually read scripts. But 'The Hobbit', I'm not sure I should say this, but I've never read 'The Hobbit'. And on the plane to New Zealand, which is a long flight, you'd have thought I'd have time.

''It's something about a hole in the ground where a hobbit lived. My character was called The Master of Laketown, so I thought, there's a lot of this. There's a search function, so I just put in 'The Master' and it went to all the bits I was in.

''I thought, 'That seems like a reasonable part', put the iPad down and read another book. So to this day I haven't read it, but I am really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.''

However, Stephen isn't worried about his lacklustre approach to preparing for the role, claiming most of the Hollywood greats do the same.

He added: ''Judi Dench doesn't read her scripts. Her agent says, 'I think you should do this one' and she says 'OK'... Easy.''