July 20, 2001

Elijah Wood Talks Lord of the Rings
Staff Reporter

On hand to enjoy the excitement of the Comic-Con International: San Diego was actor Elijah Wood, whom many may recognize as Frodo the Hobbit in New Line Cinema’s upcoming LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. CINESCAPE managed to catch up with the young actor for an update on the films, which were shot back-to-back-to-back (the first of the three, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, is due out in theaters December 2001).

“[I’ve seen footage of the film and] it’s amazing,” says Wood. “It’s absolutely incredible. They’ve shrunk me down to approximately four feet to play a hobbit.”

Currently in post-production, the actor does admit that his obligation to the project is far from over. There still are a number of re-shoots that will require his involvement.

“Principal photography has been completed – all three movies were shot all at one time – but now it’s just the little preliminary sort of re-shoots, pick-ups and bits of scenes that they need to add,” says Wood. “So the main crux of the film is done. We’ve done pick-ups for the first movie now and I’ll be going back next year for part two and three.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge for any actor is acting opposite a blue screen – required for such effects heavy films as LORD OF THE RINGS. However, Wood admits to have had a relatively easy time of it.

“It was actually kind of easy,” says Wood. “I mean we had a lot of big sets, but if there was something that we were looking at that wasn’t there, we had lots of drawings and conceptual art to use as references for stuff that we were supposed to be seeing. So it was kind of easy to imagine on the day what we were supposed to be looking at.”

Of course, what’s hard about acting with A-list cast like Ian McKellen and Liv Tyler, let alone a director like Peter Jackson?

“It’s awesome,” exclaims Wood. “It’s a really, really incredible group of people and a very brilliant, talented group of artists who were massively, massively passionate about what they were there in New Zealand for. It was a real honor. [And Peter Jackson] is a lovely guy. He’s kind of like a Hobbit himself. He’s totally passionate about the project.”

It’s a good thing the film has a director who lives and breaths all things RINGS-related because Wood admits to not being too familiar with the property prior to his participation.

“Not so much with LORD OF THE RINGS,” admits Wood. “I had read the HOBBIT and I’d always had LORD OF THE RINGS around, but never actually read it. So not too familiar.”

However, Wood is no fool. He was smart enough to keep the one piece of genre memorabilia that will inevitably rank up there with the Darth Maul double-bladed lightsaber prop from PHANTOM MENACE.

“Oh, I’ve got the ring,” says Wood wryly.

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