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"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:" Dominic Monaghan Interview

Dominic Monaghan on the Trilogy and Remaining Friends With the Fellowship

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Dominic Monaghan

Dominic Monaghan in Los Angeles for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Premiere.

Photo By Rebecca Murray
DOMINIC MONAGHAN (‘Merry’):

Is it strange to get women to scream with the raise of your hand?
I’m a big fan of the ladies so to have them come to me without any real effort is amazing.

Can you explain just how crazy the World Premiere was?
120,000 people on the streets of New Zealand screaming out people’s names and going crazy. It was kind of surreal more than anything else. We lived there for a year and half. You could walk down the streets, it was quiet and no one knew who we were. We were going about our daily lives and then suddenly 125,000 people just [screamed at us]. It was crazy, but we enjoyed ourselves. It feels like home.

Is it possible to prepare yourself for this kind of craziness?
I don’t think you ever truly prepare yourself for millions of people like this. It’s a lot of real craziness. You just get your head around the fact that people love what you’re doing, you know? But it’s all fading away and it’s all coming back again. You can’t rely on it for your own happiness.

Do you think you’ll ever be part of something this huge again?
I don’t know. I think it’s a hard thing to try and get your head around. It was voted the most popular book of the 20th century. To turn that into a film, you’re already going to have a huge fan base. I just don’t think [another project’s] going to be as big as all that. It’s okay; you’ve got to enjoy it while it’s happening.

What will you miss the most about the whole Middle Earth experience?
Probably being in New Zealand and hanging out with my friends.

Everyone seems to have fallen in love with New Zealand.
I plan to get a house there and bring up my family there, if I ever have one.

When you think back on shooting, does one particular day spring to mind?
I remember filming the first day on the Lothlorien Flat, which is where the whole fellowship were together for the first day. The nine of us, myself, Elijah, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Viggo, John Rhys-Davies, Ian McKellen, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, all together – the nine boys who defined the fellowship. I looked around and I thought, “So this is it. These are the people that are going to take us through this journey.” And it seemed to make sense to me. It seemed to be a very powerful, strong group of people. I thought, “Well, I’m in the right movie.”

Was there ever a day when you questioned why you’d taken on this commitment?
Never, no. I mean we were tired, we were exhausted, but I never once thought I’d made the wrong decision. How can you? It’s the perfect job.

What do you think about Peter Jackson’s chances for an Oscar this time?
You would hope that it’s quite strong. It’s a cynical world so you just have to keep your fingers crossed. We all hope so. We think he’s a great director; we think it’s a great picture.

Do you have a favorite moment from the trilogy?
I love the scene where Merry and Pippin come back together in the third movie. They’d been away for the best part of two hours. For the strongest friendship in Middle Earth to come back together and to see it onscreen is very strong.

Did you anticipate this level of success for the movies?
I don’t think you can think about how big it’s going to be. It’s hard to put any of this into words. You just enjoy yourself and have a great time and if it’s going to be a commercial success as well as an artistic success then you’ve cracked it.

What was the biggest challenge for you in working on the trilogy?
I think probably the most taxing thing about the whole job was being so exhausted, but we got through it. If the one thing that gets you down is that you’re tired, then it’s no bad thing for a young man.

Now that filming is complete, how does it feel?
It’s great. We’re all different, we’ve all changed, we’ve all grown up a little bit, but we love each other. We all look after each other and support each other. Billy [Boyd] and I went down to Mexico to see Orlando [Bloom] when he was working on “Troy.” We went to see Billy in a play. I went to see Elijah [Wood] in New York when he was filming. We just all look after each other. We care about each other. Hopefully that will continue to happen. We’re a brotherhood, we’re a fellowship – it’s true.

How has life changed for you because of these films?
I live in LA and I read scripts that I might not have read for a long time. There’s a lot more going on. I’m happy and I’m still doing the right things, and I still hold a lot of importance in my family and in my friends.

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

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

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