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Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen on "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"

'Frodo' and 'Gandalf' Reunite for the North American Premiere


Elijah Wood Lord of the Rings

Elijah Wood talks to reporters at the Premiere of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Photo By Rebecca Murray
Elijah Wood arrived very late for the North American Premiere of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” In fact, Wood’s arrival was so delayed that by the time he raced into the theater, the red carpet was empty of celebrities. Catching a glimpse of Elijah as he ran for the theater’s front door, the fans and media let him know that that old saying “Better late than never” also applies to red carpet events.

After putting in a brief appearance inside the theater, to the delight of the fans Elijah Wood returned to the hoopla outside. Posing for photos, signing autographs, and spending time with the media, Elijah Wood discussed his time spent working on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

ELIJAH WOOD (‘Frodo’):

Is it possible to summarize the Wellington Premiere?
125,000 people in a seething, roaring mass. It was incredible.

The trilogy is over. What are you feeling right now?
Well, I just listened to Peter Jackson give a speech about the fact that this is the end and welcome to the end. I’m feeling kind of sentimental a bit at the moment. It’s been four years in the making and finally here we are at the eve of its release. It’s very sad.

You’ve become a fellowship in real life.
Indeed. That is actually what we’ll carry on as these films are over.

Do you have a favorite scene?
Oh my God. I don’t know. I don’t know if I have a favorite moment. In terms of in the film, I’d say probably there’s a moment in this film with the hobbits and Aragorn that is very sad – and I won’t tell you what it is because I’d ruin the moment. That’s actually probably my favorite from all the movies.

How did life change after these movies?
My life hasn’t really. I think that the recognize-ability has increased but I go about my life in very much the same way as I would have before.

How did “The Lord of the Rings” change you as a person?
It allowed me to grow as a human being. It allowed me to grow into the adult that I am now. I think it’s difficult to articulate beyond that.

IAN MCKELLEN (‘Gandalf’):

Looking snazzy and ready to party, Ian McKellen was a good sport at the North American Premiere of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Joking with reporters and seemingly having a good time promoting the last film of the trilogy, McKellen is one of the few cast members who may (fingers crossed) have a chance to work with Peter Jackson again if “The Hobbit” ever gets underway.

How do you feel about the journey to Middle Earth coming to an end?
The slight melancholy that we won’t be together again as working partners is offset by the fact that the work we did is there forever more. I think we can safely say, even before the release of the third film, that Peter Jackson has made a classic. For an actor to be in a classic, a movie that people will see over and over and over again in the future, any sadness has to give away to that feeling.

Do you feel that the third time is a charm as far as the Oscars go?
I don’t know. I’m a member of the Academy myself and I know where my vote is going (laughing). I think it’s a unique achievement and if Oscar were to say, “Yes, it is,” that would be wonderful.

You’ve seen these younger actors come into their own during this process. How do you think they’ve handled the whole thing?
Very well indeed. I think we are all extremely grateful to have been picked to be in this. We couldn’t have really known when we set out to spend a year in a foreign land so far away from home, that this was going to be the result – worldwide acclaim for what’s turning out to be a series of classic films.

There’s still one more chance to play Gandalf. Do you think you’ll ever put on the hat again?
Well… I should be very upset if someone else put it on.

Are you going to miss the whole Middle Earth experience?
I’m relishing every single moment of it, and loving it knowing that soon it will be over and we’ll be back to earning a living somewhere.

Why has this trilogy been so well-received?
It’s the story about good people, a fellowship of good people, combining each with their own individual strengths and weaknesses to do the right thing by themselves and by the community and by Middle Earth. You don’t get to meet the villain; you never see Sauron. Tolkien’s not interested in him. He’s just a force, just an eye. I think people respond to that. And it’s not often you get to play a good person. I’ve been playing baddies all my life. He’s a good man and I particularly relish that.

More interviews from the North American Premiere of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:"
Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler, Dominic Monaghan, and David Wenham and John Noble, Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor, and John Rhys-Davies and Bernard Hill

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Premiere Photos
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” Trailer, Credits, Interviews, and Movie News

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