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Elijah Wood Radio Interview Transcript

May 17, 2002 at 11:13 am by xoanon  - 

Elise G writes:

Elijah Wood chatted with a Brazilian interviewer a few months ago, but only an audio version is available, with no text or video. The 47 minute interview has some interesting questions and Wood gives detailed answers.

I recently transcribed this interview and I thought you might be interested in the text version of the interview, which is attached:

First of all, I would like to know: how was it like in New Zealand?

Oh, my God, New Zealand was incredible. It’s difficult to articulate properly because it was such an amazing experience and I was there for well over a year, and it was really a combination of an amazing life experience as well as an incredible kind of filming experience making these movies and bringing Tolkien’s books to the screen. And I made some of the best friends of my life. New Zealand was an incredibly beautiful country to film in and a wonderful one to live in as well. So it was an amazing, truly incredible experience.

Yes, I’ve heard the actors have made a tattoo.

[Elwood laughs]

Yeah, yeah…well, it was an idea that someone had—I think Orlando—had very early on. Basically, it was an idea that we had to imprint that experience on our bodies for the rest of our lives. And it was something we had early on but not many people were…I think there were a few people who were kind of hesitant to do it early, mainly because they didn’t really know how the experience would shape up. About a week or two before we finished filming, it really came to fruition. The idea was accepted by everyone in the Fellowship and we decided to follow through with it. And basically we got the Elvish number nine, which basically stands for the nine members of the Fellowship, and we all went to a tattoo parlor together and got branded. It was pretty wonderful.

That’s great. And do you think that such a big friendship has made any difference in making the movie, in the final result of the movie?

Oh, I definitely think so. I think a lot of the relationships that are represented on the film are very much a reality and I think that that’s why the film, for me anyway, has a really special energy to it. I think that there’s something very authentic about what we captured on film and I think that’s largely due to the relationships that were forged. I certainly have made some of the best friends of my life and in many ways it kind of transcends friendship because we spent so much time together, you know. I feel like I’ve gained family in these people. It’s very special.

That’s great. And do you think, Elijah, that making the film in eighteen months, filming it all at once, has helped you in portraying Frodo or not?

Oh, I—No, I think so. I think, you know, generally on a film you’re given four months on average to flesh out your character and take your character from one point to the next point and I think we were all given the opportunity to embrace these characters and take them on a journey, and in many ways in real time. The story takes place over a year and we were given about that time to flesh out these characters. I think it was really kind of a privilege for us because we had that extra added time to figure things out along the way and build these characters and live with these characters to the point where it almost became effortless in some ways to portray them, because we’d become so familiar with them on a day-to-day basis, that, you know, they became very much real in our eyes.

Was it hard for you to make Frodo, such a hard character?

What’s that?

Frodo…was it hard for you to make him, to deal with him?

Well, I think before—

He changes a lot in each part of the trilogy, doesn’t he?

Well, I think Frodo was definitely a challenge in a variety of ways. I think part of the challenge of portraying Frodo was living up to the fans’ expectations of what Frodo was supposed to be. This book has been quite famous for many, many years and avid fans have read the book over and over again so they have their own interpretation as to what Frodo and many of the other characters are to be. There was that kind of pressure, you know, I have to basically step into this character’s shoes and represent it in such a way that will please other people and live up to people’s expectations. So that was the initial kind of challenge, but after we started filming that kind of drifted away because I really felt comfortable with the choices that I’d made, and Peter, the director, was quite happy with the choices that I was making so it seemed like I was on the right track. So I just kind of allowed it to go and Frodo to go on that journey and I was just sort of following along. And then part of the other challenge, I think, was also just taking this character over that length of time and taking him from a very innocent point to a very kind of affected, dark place. It was just certainly a challenge, but a lot of fun.

Okay, and Elijah, you’re only twenty-years-old, isn’t it?

Yeah—I just turned twenty-one.

Twenty-one?

Yeah.

And do you think that being as young as you were turned things a little bit easier for you to understand Frodo and how people would like to see him?

That’s interesting. I think so. There’s an innocence to Frodo and yet a kind of worldliness as well, but there’s so much that Frodo hasn’t experienced, being a hobbit in the Shire. He’s kind of closed off to the outside world and, you know, for me going to New Zealand for that length of time was like Frodo traveling throughout Middle-earth, essentially on his own, without his family, and I think there are parallels there for me, and I think at that age—you know, I was eighteen at the time. It was particularly poignant at the time of my life to kind of leave home and travel and basically give way to this experience, which was very much what Frodo had to do. So, no, I think that that’s a relative point.

From the movies you’ve done, which one do you like best?

Ooh, out of all the movies I’ve done…Well, [laughs] at this point I’m kind of, I want to say my favorite, in terms of how it turned out, was ‘Lord of the Rings’ just because it is really the culmination of so much effort on so many people’s parts and it resulted in a film that, you know, I’m so, so proud of and kind of exceeds my expectations, but beyond ‘Lord of the Rings’, I’d have to say ‘The Ice Storm’ is one of my favorite films that I’ve been in.

Now when will you come to Brazil?

[High-pitched laugh from Elwood] Hopefully soon! Hopefully soon…

I guess Brazilians hope so too.

Maybe when we do press next time around, for the next film, we’ll go to Brazil because I’ve always wanted to go to Brazil, and, you know, I love Brazilian music and I love the culture, and the food’s amazing so I think it would be wonderful. I’ve always wanted to go. I’m a really big fan of the **********’s.

That’s great.

Do you know who they are?

Sure, sure.

Yeah.

That’s great. And now, Elijah, what did you learn with this picture, by doing this movie?

Well, um…

So many things?

So many things…I mean it was really kind of an experience apart, it was such a life experience, it’s very difficult to look at it in any other way, so I think me, as a person, I think I really grew quite a lot as a person and matured and kind of grew stronger and more confident just as a result of being there on my own and living life in New Zealand throughout this film. I’d hoped that throughout the experience, as an actor, that I would have learned more, but it’s always hard to tell, you know, but I definitely feel changed as a result of the experience.

Which part of the movie was the hardest for you, which was the hardest part to be done, the make up part?

Well, I think that the most challenging aspect of the film were actually scenes involving the third film. You know, Frodo at that point is so far away from the Frodo that you are introduced to in the first film and he’s merely a shadow of himself as a result of the effects of the Ring, and for me as an actor those were definitely the most challenging scenes: just to take Frodo to that very dark place. But then, you know, throughout the entire experience just the challenge of the sort of physically demanding scenes and just simply the endurance, getting through the length of time and difficult schedule.

Well, Frodo is a very strong character. Are you afraid of becoming a ‘just one character’ actor?

Ah…Well, it never really crossed my mind. It was something that a lot of people have referenced as a concern and it was never a concern of mine. I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to have a career before Frodo and, you know, I’ve been working on things between ‘Lord of the Rings’ now, so I don’t feel like Frodo is going to be the thing I’m only known for, and my main perspective is just continue working and doing things that are very different from ‘Lord of the Rings’, so that people know me as simply an actor, not as Frodo.

And you’ve made another movie after ‘Lord of the Rings’. How is it for you, after eighteen months making ‘The Lord of the Rings’, how is it for you making another movie just after?

It was quite strange. It was very refreshing. It was something that I was actually very nervous about doing, because I’d kind of lulled myself into this sense of security in the world of Middle-earth and ‘Lord of the Rings’ because I’d been there for so long. It was such a comfort zone for me, and breaking out of that comfort zone, I think, was actually the most challenging aspect of doing another film. But also, you know, I didn’t have the makeup. I didn’t have the feet everyday that I had to put on. I didn’t have a wig. I had, you know, shoes and civilian normal clothes so it was actually really refreshing and it was all about performance and it wasn’t about special effects or the environment. It was actually really nice to just get back down to the kind of bare essentials of what I do. And yet it was also very challenging in the sense that I hadn’t really done anything new in over a year. So it was challenging.

Do you think, now after ‘Lord of the Rings’, people will expect something more from you?

I don’t—I don’t know. That’s a very good question. Possibly, and I think that I’m my own worst critic, so I always demand more of myself as well, and whether people are expecting more or less from me is not really something I’m concerned with, because I put that pressure on myself. I’m always trying to do better than my last job, trying to better myself as an actor. So, you know, I will maintain that perspective.

And what are you expecting now, Elijah?

What am I expecting now?

Yeah.

Well, I don’t know…I—

From the next movies.

I’m expecting—I think one of the great things about being a part of ‘Lord of the Rings’—there’re so many great aspects of being a part of something like this—but one of the bonus effects is, I think, the exposure that it gets me and the ability to then be opened up to material that I may not have been opened up to before, which just furthers my career and allows me to keep working, which is a great thing. So for me, I think I just expect a little bit more work which is great.

Okay, and how about the Oscars?

Well, it’s certainly an honor. You know, it’s so surreal. Again, I really look at ‘Lord of the Rings’ as a life experience and it’s such a personal experience for everyone involved, it’s very difficult to let all of this: these accolades, these amazing responses, sink in, because for us it was such an incredible life experience. But it’s wonderful, and the fact that it has been received so well and the fact that it is nominated is an incredible vindication of everyone’s work and involvement and passion for the books and for making these come to life. So it’s wonderful, and I think it deserves all of the attention it gets, because everyone involved—I mean there was a crew of nearly 2000 people—and the effort that they put forth, and the passion that they had for the work is staggering, and it really resulted in a beautiful film. So I think that it certainly deserves all that it gets.

That’s great. But were you expecting a nomination too?

Me personally?

Yeah.

No, not necessarily, but I did expect that the film would be nominated for something. You know, it’s a pretty extraordinary film.

Did you know the book before being invited to make the movie?

I was familiar with the books. I hadn’t actually read the books. I’d read ‘The Hobbit’ when I was young. I think I was about eleven or twelve when I read ‘The Hobbit’, but I hadn’t read ‘Lord of the Rings’. I kind of owned the books for years and never did get around to reading them. It wasn’t until I got to New Zealand that I actually started reading the books, but I was familiar enough with them that I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.

Okay, and how about the changes that will happen with Frodo? He will get darker, I guess. Can people feel that in the second part of the trilogy already?

There will be a sense of that. There is an ever-increasing burden that the Ring represents, that you really start feeling at the end of the first film and that just progresses throughout the second. Frodo becomes quite burdened by the Ring and he does start to change. It does start to affect his spirit and his heart. So you do get a sense of the kind of increasing darkness in the second film. Absolutely.

Okay. And everybody says that Frodo was the most important character in your life. Do you agree with that?

Well, I think thus far, absolutely. I’ve never had the opportunity to play a character quite like him or be given the chance to take a character over such a long period of time from one place to the next and you know, for me, as an actor, it really represents quite a pinnacle in my life and in my career. Absolutely.

How is it for you to be working side by side with great actors and actresses like Cate Blanchett and Liv Tyler?

Oh, my God. It was incredible. I’m such a fan of movies and particularly actors, so it was kind of a dream come true. I’ve been a fan of Ian McKellen’s and Ian Holm’s, as well as Christopher Lee and everyone else involved—Cate Blanchett. It was quite surreal actually, to be working with them, but incredible. And, you know, at the end of it all I can call them my friends because we went through so much together and that is something I will hold close to me for the rest of my life. It was wonderful—and Cate Blanchett was particularly incredible just because I only had a few scenes with her and one in particular was quite long and I was so nervous to be working with her because I’m such a huge fan, but I think it went okay.

And how do you deal with fans?

How do I deal with fans?

Yeah. Do you love them or sometimes do they bother you? I don’t know…

Well, I’m really appreciative of fans. It can be difficult; it can get kind of intrusive and difficult when you’re constantly being stopped by inquisitive people, but, you know, I’ve always kind of made this decision to always treat other people the way I’d want to be treated and I want to be as gracious as I possibly can. I don’t mind it, you know, it’s a thing about being well-known and about being famous that isn’t exactly a wonderful thing. I don’t know many people that love the fact that people come up to them but it is nice, and it’s flattering that people enjoy your work and respect your work.

What would you be if you weren’t an actor?

Oh…that’s a very good question. There are a lot of things I’m very passionate about, outside of, you know, filming movies. I don’t know. I think I would love to be in some form of music. I’d love to either be in a band or be making some music. I’m hugely passionate about music, so to be involved in music in some way would be amazing. I love food, so oddly enough I’d love to be a chef, I think. I’ve never really learned how to cook so that’s something I really want to do. I’d love to do that. I don’t know—there’re a lot of things I’m really passionate about. A photographer is something I’d love to be.

Do you think that ‘Lord of the Rings’ will really win the Oscar of the Best Picture?

Uh…I don’t know. That’s a very good question. Time will tell. I’m not sure. I think it deserves to win, but I will have to find out. I’m not sure.

Have you received any new invitations to any new movies?

Um…

Many?

Yeah, there’re a few things I’m working on at the moment. I’m about to go up to Vancouver to film a movie called ‘Try Seventeen’ and hopefully in the summer I’m going to do this film called ‘Thumbsucker’. It’s based on a book and Mike Mills is going to direct it, so yeah, there’re definitely a few things that I’m working on. It seems to be getting busier and busier. I’m very happy.

Okay, and when making ‘The Lord of the Rings’, did you get hurt any time?

I didn’t, actually. I mean, there were definitely cuts and scrapes here and there, but I was never seriously injured. Sean Astin, actually, had to have stitches in his foot because he stepped on a piece of wood that was in the water. He ran into the water and it went through his prosthetic foot, so he had to be helicoptered away to the hospital to receive stitches. And Viggo Mortensen actually broke his tooth off, one of his front teeth, while doing a fight sequence, but I was lucky enough to not be injured like that.

What does the tattoo mean?

Well, the tattoo is two Elvish letters that mean ‘nine’ in Elvish. So it stands for the nine members of the Fellowship and it basically just signifies the experience that we as a group of people and as a Fellowship had. And, you know, it makes the Fellowship very much a reality.

Okay. What do you think people feel when watching ‘The Lord of the Rings’?

I think that what’s wonderful about the film is that it’s very emotionally engaging and I think that, you know…it’s hard for me to say, because it’s difficult for me to be objective because I was a part of it, but what’s so great about the film is that it takes you to another place and you really get involved with these characters and care about these characters and are taken away to Middle-earth on a journey, and I think that is what is so wonderful about it. It’s kind of a throwback to old adventure epic movies.

But it’s such a big responsibility to be doing ‘The Lord of the Rings’. You know, many people around the world love the book and it’s such a big responsibility to be doing it, isn’t it for you? How could you deal with such a big responsibility?

Well, it was a responsibility that everyone felt. You know, to take these beloved books and try and adapt them for the screen is no easy task. And it was something that the director, Peter, and his partner, Fran, worked on for years before we arrived in New Zealand to actually film, so it was something that had been kind of, you know, they’d been fleshing it out over a long period of time to make it right, as well as during the film. But I think all of us felt that responsibility to make it as true to the books as possible and it was something that we were always aware of and concerned with. And I think everyone felt it.

Okay. In which aspects do you think you’re similar to Frodo?

Ooh…There’s a certain innocence to Frodo that I can relate to. There’s also a kind of worldliness to Frodo, a kind of knowledge about the outside world and I guess a wisdom within that. But I certainly relate to that. To kind of being aware of the outside world, and being curious and wanting to travel and wanting to experience, which I totally relate to.

In New Zealand, what did you do in your free time to have fun?

Well, the four hobbits, we all learned how to surf. So some of our time was taken up by surfing, which was great, and actually, Billy Boyd, who plays Pippin, became very good at surfing and still surfs quite a lot. We also just spent a lot of time together: going to movies, going out to dinner, going out to the pub and having a few pints of beer. There was a little bit of snowboarding involved. That was quite fun. Some people did some bungee-jumping. I think we just generally spent a lot of time together as friends. We did all sorts of different things.

That’s great, and how about Peter Jackson? What was your first meeting with Peter Jackson like?

Oh, my God. It was wonderful. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time and he had seen my audition tape that I sent in, and he was in Los Angeles for a few days to meet with people, and I got to meet with him and read for him. And being such a fan of his work, I was so excited to meet him, and his partner Fran, who wrote with Peter, one of my favorite movies: ‘Heavenly Creatures’. It was just a joy to meet them. They’re both really delightful and Peter was showing me all sorts of concept drawings and pictures of various locations that they had in mind for the film and we had a really long chat on what it meant to be a part of this, the plans that he had for bringing these books to screen. It was just a wonderful meeting. It was really quite wonderful to be able to meet him and chat about these films…Great.

That’s great. Why do you think you were chosen to make Frodo, to be Frodo?

Oh…Well, I don’t know if I can answer that. I don’t know.

Oh, come on, Elijah!

I don’t know. I did an audition tape: I put together my own tape and I had a little hobbit costume on and went barefoot and shot some scenes in some sort of forest in Hollywood and I sent the tape in, and Peter watched it a few days later, and I guess whatever he saw in that tape was what he was looking for. I guess that’s the only way I can really describe it. Other than that I’m not really sure. I was very lucky, though, certainly.

Okay, and now what is your biggest dream as an actor?

Oh, my God…biggest dream…I think my biggest dream as an actor is to have everything that I’m passionate about being a part of, any project that I love, any director that I want to work with, to be open to me. To have that opportunity to, to have that kind of freedom to be a part of anything I want. You know, to get up to that level in my career is a complete dream of mine. I love film so much and I love what I do so much and to have that opportunity to then be able to choose anything and be open to anything is sort of, I think the ultimate.

What was your reaction when you found out you weren’t nominated for the Oscars?

I actually forgot that the Oscar nominations were being announced on the day that they were. Here in Los Angeles, they’re announced at about five-thirty or six in the morning and I’d completely forgotten, and I was sleeping, and I got all these phone calls. I kept hearing the phone ring, and I thought ‘Now who is calling me at this hour?’ And I woke up and checked my messages, and I found out over the messages about the nominations. And, you know, I was excited. It’s weird. It’s very surreal to be nominated for all these awards, and I kind of lived through the initial experience of having the film being released and having it being received so well. So in some ways it was a surprise, and it was wonderful, but in other ways it wasn’t. I kind of expected it to be acknowledged, because it had already been acknowledged so much. But it was no less enjoyable, certainly.

And now, what would you do if you had the One Ring?

If I had the One Ring, I would probably destroy it, as Frodo did. I don’t think I would use it to any particular effect. I think that obviously the One Ring is inherently evil. I know that it can’t be used for good. So I would probably try to destroy it.

Okay, Elijah, do you know if they will make a movie of ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘The Silmarillion’?

Well, it’s interesting, because I think that, ‘The Hobbit’ definitely, would be an incredible film and I’ve spoken to Ian McKellen about it, actually, and Ian would be quite keen, I think, to reprise his role as Gandalf for that. But I know Peter doesn’t have any interest in doing it, primarily because he’s spent what will have been, by the end of it, the greater part of, like, six years working on ‘The Lord of the Rings’. So I don’t think Peter’s going to do it. But I know a lot of people in Weta, and a lot of people in New Zealand want to do it and want to be a part of it. It really just depends on who wants to direct it and who wants to write it. So I don’t really know. ‘The Silmarillion’ is a very difficult book to compile, or to kind of truncate into a film. So I doubt that will ever see the light of day in film form. And if it is to be done, I can only imagine it being like a mini-series or something. I’m not sure. There aren’t any plans as of yet, anyway.

I’ve heard that you went to Japan on Wednesday. Where is the best place you have ever been? And what was the reaction of the fans over there?

What is the best place I’ve ever been? In the world?

Yes. New Zealand. Don’t tell me.

[Elwood laughs]

Well, I do have a particular love for New Zealand. I don’t know. You know, one of my favorite places actually, is Ireland. I spent about three or four months in Ireland about four years ago and I loved it. I lived in Dublin for a couple of months working on a movie, and I loved Ireland, and since I’ve always wanted to go back. It’s difficult to pick a favorite place, because I’ve been lucky to travel to some wonderful places and I’ve kind of fallen in love with each place that I’ve traveled to. So it’s difficult to kind of settle on one. I’ve got the kind of problem of enjoying the places that I travel to, too much. So it’s difficult. But I loved Ireland, yes.

Okay. That’s great. What did your family think about the tattoo?

Oh, the tattoo! Well, I called my mom and told her about the tattoo before I got it, and she wasn’t exactly excited. But once I actually got the tattoo—we kind of went in and made it happen as a group—and once I came home and showed her, I think she understood what it meant and how special it was to me and to us as the Fellowship. And I remember my brother and my sister loved it. [Laughs] They loved it.

What advice would you give to aspiring actors or actresses?

Well, I think of first importance is just believe in yourself and maintain a certain amount of confidence about what you do and what you want to do. And I think, just be passionate, you know, and follow your dream and I think those are the most important things. And also realize that it’s not all that important. It is something that I love to do and that many people love to do, but obviously the world doesn’t revolve around acting or making films. But I don’t know…Just pursue it and love it and maintain that passion and be true to yourself.

Oh, that’s great. Now are you dating someone?

No.

No?

No, unfortunately.

Oh, my God, Brazilian girls would get nut, right now!

Really?

You drive them nuts.

Oh, that’s exciting. No, I’ve been single for far too long. I wish I wasn’t, but I am.

And now, was there any big, big moment during ‘The Two Towers’ movie?

Yeah…I’m trying to think…‘The Two Towers’ is largely made up of scenes where Frodo and Sam are kind of climbing through rocks. There are some big moments. I think the bigger moments are scenes with Gollum, which becomes a major character in the next film. And those were quite incredible to work on, because obviously Gollum is a CG character. And that was the first time I’ve ever had to work with, and interact with, a character that didn’t actually exist. So those were really challenging, but they should be pretty incredible and I would say those were probably the most incredible scenes that I had to work on, for ‘The Two Towers’, definitely.

If you weren’t Frodo, who would you like to be in ‘The Lord of the Rings’?

I would actually love to be Gollum. I think Gollum is one of my all-time favorite characters. Way back from reading ‘The Hobbit’ and the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter, I’ve always loved Gollum, and there’s something wonderful about Gollum. He is a slightly evil person but there’s something so sad about him because there is still a slice of humanity left in him. And his obsession with the Ring is really sad because it’s ruined him as an individual. So I’ve always really been fascinated by that character. If I wasn’t Frodo, I would love to be Gollum.

Okay. What do you think would be the opinion of Tolkien about the result of the trilogy?

Well, it’s difficult to say. I think, for any author, I would imagine that bringing their literary work to screen and choosing actors to portray the characters that they had in their mind and had written out, is always difficult. And I can’t imagine that it would be easy for an author to watch an adaptation of their work. I feel like we have adapted the books in the best way possible and have certainly stayed true to the vision of Tolkien. So I think he would appreciate it. I think the essence of his books is certainly there and captured very well. So I would assume that he would definitely appreciate it, but I don’t know.

How was it to say goodbye to everybody after eighteen months together?

It was very difficult. You know, we’d been working on the film for so long that in some ways, it seemed like it would never end. It was our life. The idea of it ending was very strange to everyone. And it ended very abruptly. We filmed in a very intense way for, like, a month before we were done, and then, you know, there was the last day of filming. We finished the movie. We had our wrap party that night, and then everyone flew home the next day. So in some ways we didn’t have enough time to fully react to the fact that we’d finished. So it was hard. It was really hard. I think that we all, in the back of our minds, knew that we’d be back, that we’d be coming back to New Zealand, and we’d see each other again, but there was this horrible sense that the journey had ended. It actually came at a good time. We finished the movie, we left each other, and we all went home for Christmas. So we kind of went from an intensely difficult, sad situation to the comfort of family and friends during Christmastime, but it was hard. It was very difficult, and kind of a shock to everyone.

And being the youngest one in all the actors, did it help you or not?

Yeah, it’s funny. I never really felt like the youngest—

You didn’t feel overprotected somehow?

No, I think what was great about everyone and, I think, about the Fellowship as well, was I think we all felt like equals. I was the youngest one but I never really felt like I was the youngest one. I think we were all there under the same circumstances, you know. We were all away from our homes, we were all giving in to this long journey together, and I think that that was a very unifying force. So I never did feel sort of separated or slightly different from the rest, because we were all there under the same contract.

What do you do in your free time?

Well, uh, well…

Do you have any free time, Elijah?

I do. I do.

Oh, that’s great.

I go to a lot of movies. If there are any great bands in town, you know, I’m often going to the shows and seeing live music. I love going CD shopping, going out to dinner, spending time with friends, and I’ve just recently gotten an X-Box, so I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately. All of that takes up my time. But mainly just spending time with friends, you know.

Okay. Have you ever listened to any good Brazilian music?

Have I ever heard any good Brazilian music?

Yeah.

Oh, yeah. Well, I’m a big fan of, like, *********, ***********, and the ********’s. Just the whole bossa nova music, I love, and I also love the sort of tropicalia sound of the ‘60’s as well.

That’s really great.

[Odd laugh from Elwood]

I love music. I love all sorts of different stuff, so, you know, over the last couple of years I have listened to quite a lot of Brazilian music as well.

And you love it deeply, don’t you?

What’s that?

Brazilian music.

Oh, yeah.

That’s great. What would you do if you got the Oscar?

Oh, my God. If I actually got an Oscar, I would be overwhelmed with nervousness. I think I would lose it. I get a lot of anxiety anyway. I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel. I don’t know. It would be an amazing honor. It would kind of freak me out, I think.

Is it true you kept the One Ring?

I did, yes.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah, over the last bit of—I went to New Zealand last year, for sort of pick-ups and ADR and things for film one and during the last set of pick-ups, before I left for the airport to go home, I went and visited Peter and Fran in the editing room while they were putting the final touches on editing the movie and they presented me with a gift. And inside they gave me a box, this beautiful wooden box. I opened it up and there was a pouch inside with the One Ring on the chain. So, yeah, I do. I have the One Ring, which is wonderful. But I plan to have more tokens from the movie.

But you just told me you would destroy it. So you changed your mind.

Well, I do have the One Ring—

Just kidding.

But this one I’m just hiding. I’m keeping it out of people’s reach. It’s mine. No one else can have it.

What do you think the perfect woman must have for you?

Ooh…The perfect woman…well, ooh, God, that’s a good question. I think, obviously, there’re the kind of standard things that are great, like a sense of humor. The ability to laugh, not only at other things but at oneself, I think is important. Also, I think honesty is huge. Being able to trust someone is really important. So a woman who is very honest. Also passionate—I’m a hugely passionate person myself, so a woman that is passionate about life and about her interests, and about traveling and enjoying life. And romantic. I think there’s been a certain sense that romance is kind of dying. I don’t believe that. I’m kind of an idealist when it comes to romance. So someone who is very romantic is key as well.

Do you speak any words in Portuguese?

I can’t, actually, and it’s an incredibly beautiful language but I don’t know any words. The only words that I’m familiar with are from ********** songs.

Do you like the Beatles?

Oh, I love the Beatles.

Did you know there was a project in the ‘60’s for the Beatles to make ‘The Lord of the Rings’?

Yes! That’s a very obscure piece of information. I’m surprised you know about that. Yeah, there was. Briefly, the Beatles were seriously considering making a movie adaptation where they’d play characters in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ books.

Who would be Frodo, Elijah? Paul? John?

I think, actually…God, who would be Frodo?

I guess Paul.

Paul would be a good Frodo. I think Paul would be a great Frodo. Either that or George.

Maybe George…Elijah, I would love to thank you a lot for being here with us. You know, many great questions, you know, and Brazil loves you! Please, come here someday!

I want to come! I didn’t realize there was so much love in Brazil for me. That’s very sweet. I feel very honored. Thank you.

You’ll get the girlfriend you’re looking for.

Yes? Well, then I’m on a plane tomorrow.

Thanks, Elijah.

The women in Brazil are so incredibly gorgeous.

I can say, Elijah, as a Brazilian, that I don’t know, yes, maybe we are. What do you think?

Oh, I think Brazilian women are beautiful. Absolutely. There’s something…I don’t know. I don’t know what it is about Brazil.

I hope we meet someday, okay?

[Another strange laugh from Elwood] Well, I’ll definitely come to Brazil someday soon, I hope.

Posted in Old Special Reports on May 17, 2002 by

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