The Tolkien Enthusiast
Aragorn son of Arathorn
Actor's Name: Viggo Mortensen.
Birthdate, place: 20 October 1958 in Manhattan, New York, USA.
Other Movies: A Perfect Murder, GI Jane, Crimson Tide, Jane Campion's Portrait of a Lady, A Walk on the Moon with NZer Anna Paquin.
Gossip: Being offered the role at the last minute (so to speak - the filming had actually already begun) the decision was largely made by Viggo's son Henry (then about 10 years old), who told him he had to take it. According to Liv Tyler (Arwen), Viggo had so many photos of Henry on his dressing room mirror "there wasn't one little speck left for him to look."
Apparently, Viggo was "causing some hair-tearing among the film bosses by insisting on doing far more of the on-screen riding than was intended!" He loves his horse, and at one point was getting lessons two or three times a week. He also slept in his costume and washed it himself, so that it would better look the part. "In the true spirit of method acting, he is rumoured to have walked around a city supermarket with his sword, but 'if it happened, I don't remember it.' "
When Viggo chipped a front tooth while filming a sword fighting scene he suggested using Superglue to put it back in place.
Boromir son of Denethor
Actor's Name: Sean Bean.
Birthdate, place: 17 April 1959 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
Other Movies: Patriot Games, Goldeneye, Ronin, Tom & Thomas, etc.
Gossip: Sean Bean stayed in a Wellington hotel at a cost of NZ$500 per night, booked in for a month (October-November 1999).
Actor's Name: Elijah Wood.
Birthdate, place: 28 January 1981 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA.
Other Movies: Paradise, Radio Flyer, Forever Young, The Good Son, The War, Flipper, Deep Impact, The Faculty, etc.
Gossip: In case there remained any doubt that Liv and Elijah really are in Wellington, the Dominion reported that they were out and about on Friday, 15 October 1999, going to the Matterhorn Tupelo bar for a look at the nightlife. Elijah reportedly asked if there was any rock-and-roll to be had, and then set off for Barney's nightclub... where he was turned away. Entry is restricted to people over 21. Wood was 18 (at time of writing).
Mr Wood is reported to be extremely cooperative when working - something always appreciated by directors.
"We're usually picked up around 5 a.m. I come to the set, and I get into my feet, which takes about an hour" - EJW.
From an interview with Elijah Wood by Brooke Shields (mostly regarding their movie Black and White)...
Brooke Shields: Have you read the trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien?
Elijah "Frodo" Wood: No, but I read "The Hobbit."
I guess that settles the question of whether The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings is his favourite book. A bit weird, though, not to read the sequel to your favourite book. And just for the record, Brooke read LotR "... when I was a child. They should be required reading at an older age..."
Were you a Tolkien fan before you joined the project?
EJW: Yeah! Well, honestly, I actually had not read the book before I started. I'd read The Hobbit, and when I finished it, I bought LotR right away. I just never got around to reading it. So, when I started this, I started reading it, just to get into it. And it's interesting, because I read the three scripts when I started, and then went back to the book.
Gandalf the Grey/White
Actor's Name: Sir Ian Murray McKellen.
Birthdate, place: 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England.
Other Movies: Apt Pupil, Gods and Monsters,
Six Degrees of Separation, X-Men, etc.
Gimli son of Gloin
Actor's Name: John Rhys-Davies.
Birthdate, place: 5 May 1944 in Wiltshire, England.
Other Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sliders, Au Pair, etc.
Notes: His nationality is Welsh. The thought that I have on John Rhys-Davies being so tall (and that being surprising to some when he's cast as a Dwarf) is that if he is to be shrunk by the same amount as the hobbits (which would be easiest), he will still be noticeably bigger than the hobbits, which Dwarves are.
Gimli should, of course, be carrying an axe. I think somebody wasn't paying attention.
Actor's Name: Orlando Bloom.
Birthdate, place: 1977 in Canterbury, Kent, England.
Other Movies: Wilde, Black Hawk Down.
Notes: For all those idiots who whined about him having too big a nose to be an Elf, this picture has obviously been taken from close up with a wide-angle lens (which has the effect of over-emphasising the size of foreground objects). He's perfect for the role. Cute hairstyle too.
Gossip: He broke a rib during filming and has broken all sorts of other bones during his life, such as both legs, a finger, a toe, a wrist, and an arm. And more besides.
Meriadoc (Merry) Brandbuck
Actor's Name: Dominic Monaghan.
Birthdate, place: 8 December 1976 in Berlin, Germany.
Notes: 1.6m tall. Resides in Manchester.
Peregrin (Pippin) Took
Actor's Name: Billy Boyd.
Birthdate, place: 28 August 1968 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Notes: 31 years old (at time of filming) which makes him the oldest Hobbit actor playing the youngest of the four main Hobbit characters. 1.6m tall, and he lives in Glasgow (when not in New Zealand filming movie epics).
Gossip: These two hobbit actors (Dominic and Billy) are reported to be a riot together even when not in character. Expect a lot of comic relief from these guys.
Samwise (Sam) Gamgee
Actor's Name: Sean Astin.
Birthdate, place: 25 February 1971 in Santa Monica, California, USA.
Other Movies: Goonies, White Water Summer, Toy Soldiers, Rudy, Bulman, etc.
Gossip: Sean is apparently the Fellowship actor who has hurt himself the most while on set, including standing on a sliver of metal (like a nail). It went straight through the sole of his artificial Hobbit foot.
The actor formerly signed to be playing Aragorn - Stuart Townsend - has gone home, official reason "director/actor creative chemistry." This change possibly delayed filming of the Prancing Pony interior scenes.
From the Sunday Star Times:
Townsend's dismissal had thrown the first week of filming in Wellington into disarray, forcing at least 1 1/2 days of scheduled scenes to be postponed. Just one week into a marathon 18 month shoot, the project is already believed to be behind schedule.
Rumours on the set suggested Townsend (26), the star of the British comedy Shooting Fish either looked too young for the part or that Jackson was under pressure from studio bosses to replace the actor with a more recognisable star.
Sources said Townsend's dismissal forced scenes scheduled for Thursday and Friday to be postponed. Several local actors hired as extras, some of whom have grown beards for the part, were told by their casting agents their scenes had been postponed. No reason was given for the delay.
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