The LOTR Movie Site
May 22, 2000

Notes On Casting
John R.

Overall, I am pleased with the casting. John Rhys-Davies could be an inspired choice to play Gimli, and may steal some scenes.

Sean Astin as Sam also may be inspired. In the book, Sam sometimes seems slow and dull and stupid. But, as Frodo observes, Sam could end up being a warrior or a wizard, and in fact he does. Casting Sam with a rugby-player physique may help clean up Sam's negative image and show Sam's greatness. Sam does turn into a warrior (hits half-orc in nose with apple at Bree; kills orc in Moria; evenly matched in wrestling with Gollum; kills Shelob; single handedly attacks fortress and faces down Uruk-hai to rescue Frodo; carries Frodo to Mount Doom) and a wizard (only hobbit who withstands spell of Old Man Willow; ringbearer; re-plants Shire and apparently responsible for giving hobbit children blond hair by tossing Galadriel's dust in air).

Viggo as Strider is fitting. I had thought Liam Neeson would be good for the role, and this guy is handsomer than Neeson in a more traditional sense.

But, I'm unsure about Elijah Wood as Frodo. He's very young, and Frodo was 50, which might be translated into age 35 in human years.

Karl Uban is an odd choice. He was unsettling wearing a black wig playing Julius Caesar in Xena, and I cannot envision him as Eomer.

And, who is Mirando Otto (?), cast as Eowyn in movie. This is the leading actress role in the movie, and is a great part. An established actress should have been considered. But frankly, I cannot figure out which established actress would be right for this part.

P.S. I would be horrified if Arwen does turn into a Xena-type character. A Gabrielle-type character would be more appropriate, but still too violent. Arwen should be back in the caves at Helm's Deep to help protect the non-combatants. I don't know about her blowing the Horn; maybe she has some elf-powers (perhaps her jewel, which she later gives to Frodo) helps her out?