American actor Elijah Wood’s most iconic role is, without a doubt, Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. Wood helped cement these iconic movies into cinematic history along with his costars Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, and all the other incredible actors from the films.
The first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, is nearing its twentieth anniversary. According to Winter is Coming, Wood reflected on his audition process for The Lord of the Rings during a recent interview with GQ. Specifically, he discussed how he “went the extra mile” to show how badly he wanted to play Frodo. He knew he’d really need to make an impression if he wanted even the slightest chance at landing the role.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that the script for Fellowship was not even sent to actors due to its sensitivity. Instead, those who wanted to audition were required to come into the casting office to read it. Wood stated, “I sat in an office, by myself, for two hours and read the script for The Fellowship of the Ring…I’ll never forget that. Driving home, I was so immersed in the world. It was so palpable and lifelike. It really came to life off the page.”
Winter is Coming reminds us that J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus The Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest fantasy series ever written (if not the greatest). Not surprisingly, many actors were interested in starring in the film. Therefore, Wood knew he had to do something that would make him stand out among the others. He decided to create his own audition tape and send it to director Peter Jackson.
“I went to a vocal coach for the dialect and enlisted some friends, including George Huang, who is a writer and filmmaker. We went out to the woods in Griffith Park and shot two of the audition sequences there and one at my house.” Wood expressed. After filming, he went into the Miramax office and pieced together the scenes on a VHS tape. He then sent the tape to the casting office, who passed it along to Jackson.
Wood’s efforts obviously did not go unnoticed. “I got a call from Peter himself, which was amazing, totally mindblowing,” Wood reminisced.
You can watch the entire GQ interview with Elijah Wood below:
If you didn’t already know, Amazon is producing its own Lord of the Rings television series! Read all about it here!