Sir Peter Jackson says the weight of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' rests on Martin Freeman's shoulders.

While the movie's director admits the 41-year-old actor has a tough job taking on the lead role of Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit' film series, he insists Martin is ''really superb'' at combing serious and comedic acting to do the character justice.

He said: ''He's got a difficult role from the fact that the film sits on his shoulders.

''The job with Bilbo is balancing the comedy and quirkiness with the drama, and that's what Martin is really superb at doing.''

Peter says Martin is ''brilliant'' at altering Bilbo's tone when it is required and he believes the 'Shaun of the Dead' star has really brought the character to life in the film franchise.

He added to Total Film magazine: ''He really wants to be left alone, to put his feet up in front of a fire. He's never had a dwarf in his house before, and suddenly he's got 13 of them, raiding his pantry and eating his food, and he cares about food more than anything! And then suddenly he's dragged off on an adventure.

''So there's a lot of comedic opportunities. But you want to feel the truth of those moments. You don't want them to be played just for laughs.

''When he's holding the sword and faced with a troll, you want the sense of danger, and Martin's brilliant at juggling the tone, that ability to have one foot in the dramatic world and one in the comedic world. Bilbo is coming to life.''