Elijah Wood was an honoured guest at this year’s Montreal Comiccon and as such, had a lot to stay when he sat down for a Q&A on Saturday afternoon. Amazingly, the former child actor didn’t have to spend the entirety of his time talking about his largest role, which ironically saw him playing the hobbit Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
But Wood did reiterate some new information concerning Amazon’s upcoming Middle-Earth series, which is still untitled but is set to take place in The Second Age, a period of time set thousands of years before The War of the Ring. For those who didn’t know, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and The Orphanage director J.A. Bayona is tapped to direct two episodes of the first season. Bayona is a horror fan and his work has been generally well-received, barring his work on the second Jurassic World film.
While this piece of information was brief, Wood did of course talk about his time as Frodo. He reminisced how despite the epic scale of the production, which shot all three movies back to back, the tangibility of the sets thanks to the use of practical effects. There isn’t a terrible amount of CGI in the film and what is there is used to enhance shots, such as the giant statues of the Kings near the end of Fellowship or creating new creatures like the Balrog.
Elijah Wood at Montreal Comiccon [Credit: Stephanie Marsh]
He talked about his favourite moment on the entirety of the production, which was when the fellowship was trekking along the top of the snowcapped mountain and Boromir gets his hands on the ring. The cast and crew needed helicopters to get up on the mountain and had to wait days to actually make the assent due to poor weather. While they waited, director Peter Jackson would visit farmers in the area to get permission to film pickup shots of Sam and Frodo walking. Wood couldn’t help but comment that a movie like that, were it made today, would have used a green screen set to create the shot. Whether that was a dig at The Hobbit trilogy remains unknown but those films were heavily criticized for being too reliant on CGI when it’s older predecessor did so much with miniatures and sets.
Wood also reflected on his last day on set, which coincided with the shot of Frodo finishing the book at the end of The Return of the King. After such a long shoot, to have his day of principle photography be that scene was more emotional for the actor. Despite this, his favourite LotR film remains Fellowship due to the innocence of the Shire, a more complete and linear story and that the characters remain together during their time in the fellowship, unlike the following two films which saw parallel storytelling be utilized. He also commented on the whole “is Sam the real hero of the quest” and argued that two pairs needed each other and neither could have finished the quest without the other. Sam,
But it wasn’t all hobbits for Elijah today. He actually opened the conversation with a bit concerning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film that featured a very subdued and dramatic performance by Jim Carrey. He said getting to see this side of Carrey, which doesn’t come out often, made the experience even more interesting. He was also a big fan of the director, Michel Gondry, and the cast he assembled. In fact, whoever the director of any given project is plays a big role in how Elijah picks his roles. He never actively seeks any particular role, he waits for something to catch his interest and asks if it’s different enough from previous works to make it fresh and challenging. At the end of the day, it’s usually a gut reaction. The weirder the better it seems to, which was a draw for the TV show, Wilfred.
When talking about the weird and bizarre in the context of being a child-actor, Wood talked about how he’s been a massive fan of horror ever since he was around seven, due to his older brother renting gruesome R-rated flicks for them to watch. Because of this, when he was in disturbing and dark material, it actually became more fun for him as he was already able to separate mature themes in film from reality. The cliff stunt in The Good Son was truly traumatizing thanks to limited safety factors. He commented that working on Ice Storm, a film directed by Ang Lee, acted as the shift in his career, thanks to the A-list cast and crew.
You can catch Elijah Wood in Come to Daddy and L.A. Rush next, which also popping in as a guest character in Star Wars: Resistance. Until then, why not check out some of our most recent material, including a Christians’ take on Good Omens and news about the game Iratus heading to Steam. While you’re at it, why not share your favourite comic con moments with us on social media? We’re on Twitter, Facebook and now Instagram!