Evening Post
October 23, 1999

Hobbit Talks About Rings Role

One of the main stars of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy being shot in Wellington has spoken for the first time about his involvement in the project.

Elijah Wood - hairy-footed hobbit Frodo Baggins in the $360 million production - is interviewed by movie and TV star Brooke Shields in the October issue of Interview magazine.

Wood said in the interview he had read JRR Tolkien's prequel The Hobbit, but not the trilogy. He believed the filmmakers were under the impression he had. "But I don't think it really matters. The scripts are brilliant, and they've kept the tone of Tolkien's writing, which is wonderful," he said.

Wood described his character Frodo as having hairy feet, pointy little ears and a wry sense of humour.

Asked about shooting the film in New Zealand, Wood said: "It's going to be an adventure, a real journey. And I think I'll be a different person when I come back, as a person and an actor, and I look forward to that."

To date Wood is the only star the film's makers have confirmed as being in Wellington. Irish actor Stuart Townsend, who was cast to play Aragorn, was dumped by director Peter Jackson last week over "creative differences". Publicist Claire Riskind said yesterday American actor Viggo Morensen would play Aragorn.

Mortensen's films include GI Jane and A Perfect Murder. In the new film he falls i love with elf princess Arwen Evenstar played by Liv Tyler.

Filming began last week on the Town Belt in Victoria and is understood to have taken place at night this week and Fort Dorset, Seatoun. Cast and crew get their first day off in two weeks on Labour Day.