AOL Chat Transcript – December 14th, 2001
AOL:Hey, everyone! Get excited, because Elijah Wood will be here shortly! In the meantime, visit Keyword: Elijah Wood to learn more about him. You can also go to Keyword: LOTR to get more info on ‘The Lord of the Rings’! I’m your hostess, Jessica Mae, and I’m really glad to be here tonight with you all.
AOL:’Lord of the Rings’ star Elijah Wood has arrived! Welcome, Elijah. It’s so great to have you with us tonight.
Elijah Wood:Hey! Thanks!
AOL:I saw you earlier on TRL. It looked like you and the rest of the cast were having a blast!
Elijah Wood:It was really good fun! We’re all incredible friends, so it’s always a real treat when we can do press things together. We can take over the show and display how well we get along. TRL was great too! Lots of crazy Hobbit behavior.
AOL:Well, our members have a bunch of questions, so let’s get started!
Question:Does it amaze you that you will always be the ringbearer to all ‘LOTR’ fans? I can’t imagine having such an honor!
Elijah Wood:It is a real honor, but I think the honor beyond that is if the people who have read the books and have seen the film enjoy it, that’s worth it. If I’ve achieved Frodo in the fansâ eyes, that is the true honor.
Question:Has Frodo rubbed off on you in any way?
Elijah Wood:I think the Hobbit nature has rubbed off on me. I related to Hobbits in the sense that they love good friends, food drink and good food. I think once we cemented the relationships with the Hobbits, we definitely exude Hobbitness.
Question:How would you describe Middle-earth?
Elijah Wood:Middle-earth was actually written by Tolkien in a way that it was actually as if it was England ages ago that had been forgotten: very lush and grand and encapsulating mountains, prairies, desolate lands. New Zealand is actually perfect in terms of the representation. I can’t think of any better place to represent Middle-earth.
Question:What was it like wearing those wonderful Hobbit feet?
Elijah Wood:The Hobbit feet were great initially, but the novelty did wear off. I’ve never worn that many prosthetics before. It was an incredible work of art, a defining feature. We started at 5AM and had to stand for an hour and a half while they applied them, so we did get tired after a while. My feet were the sweatiest, so it would melt the glue, and they would fall off after a while.
AOL:CJo89 would like to know:
Question:Which of your co-stars was your favorite to work with?
Elijah Wood:That’s a very good question. I don’t know if I do have a favorite. I did look forward to working with the four Hobbits the most. We started out within the first six weeks of preparation, spending our time together. Whenever we filmed together, it was the best. We had a great time. We brought a lot of atmosphere to the set.
AOL: Elijah, I’ve been dying to ask you…
Question:I’ve heard that the fellowship all got matching tattoos. Where are they located, and what’s the meaning behind them?
Elijah Wood:The tattoos are in various places. Some are on people’s shoulders or arms. I have one just below my waist. Orlando has one on his wrist. We all got them as a function of our passion for working on this project. It was such a profound life experience, we wanted to mark it with an emblem or a symbol. It’s a symbol that stands for nine. We were all holding each other’s hands, it hurt so much.
Question:Have you read all of the books?
Elijah Wood:I have to be honest, I haven’t actually finished them. I know that all of you fans could potentially crucify me for that! It was a function of the Middle-earth that Frodo and all of the characters came alive. I tend to kind of approach things in a more natural sense. I gained as much information as I could from the first six weeks of discussion. A lot of people consulted the books, and they were already around. I haven’t actually finished it, but I have read pieces. I didn’t completely disregard it.
AOL:Well, no matter what your approach, you’ve definitely lived the story.
Question:Which scene from the movie is your favorite?
Elijah Wood:My favorite is the sequence of the mines, the first scene. It’s the most exciting. I’m in love with the cave troll now! I got so sad when the cave troll dies. He gets shot through the head with an arrow, and he makes this terrible sound! The poor, confused cave troll. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He just never had the proper guidance.
AOL:Elijah! You’re so sensitive! 🙂
Question:What can we expect from the sequels?
Elijah Wood:Well, the story progresses. Frodo makes his way to Mt. Doom to destroy the ring. Things get darker for Frodo. The search continues for the other two missing Hobbits. There’s an incredible battle scene, which I can’t wait to see.
AOL:I know that you’ve been busy lately Elijah.
Question:I’m sure that your press schedule must be insane. What’s the best and worst part of promoting a movie?
Elijah Wood:This is certainly a breath of fresh air! The worst part is constantly on… within a whole day dealing with the same questions. You start losing the ability to answer the questions. There’s only so many times you can answer the same question different ways. It’s just difficult to get the energy to answer over and over again. The best is definitely traveling. We just went to London. It’s also great to have a reunion with the cast members. It makes it a lot easier to get by with them there.
Question:We all know that the ring has the power to make the wearer invisible. If you could be invisible, where would you go and what would you do?
Elijah Wood:I don’t know, there are a lot of things I’d love to do. A dream I had as a child would be to hide in Disneyland and stay in the park overnight and get in for free. I’d take some friends along, and we’d ride the rides all night. Splash Mountain, come on! That’s just freaky. It’s all happy at first, but then the scary music comes on and you plunge to your death!
AOL:Oooo, take me with you! I’ll go! 🙂
Question:Our female audience members will never forgive me if I don’t ask this next one. Do you have a girlfriend?
Elijah Wood:Unfortunately, I don’t. I’m a hopeless romantic, and it’s quite painful to not have a relationship with a girl. Sadly, I’m single.
AOL:Well, I know some available girls, if you’re looking. 😉 Speaking of romance…
Question:Do you believe in true love?
Elijah Wood:Of course I do! I wouldn’t be a hopeless romantic if I didn’t. I’m a sucker for romantic films. I cry like a child! For people who are hopeless romantics,Love Jones is a wonderful film. Of course, so is ‘When Harry Met Sally.’ Everyone sheds a tear.
AOL:Awww, you are so sweet, Elijah! Girls are going to be knocking down your door! FrankieMU5 wants to
Question:What’s your worst habit?
Elijah Wood:I bite my fingernails. In fact, if you see the movie, there’s a scene where Frodo is caressing the ring under the table. You’ll see a close-up of my hand, and you’ll see how badly I bite my fingernails. When you smoke and bite your nails at the same time, you know you’ve got issues.
Question:I just wanted to say I am a huge fan of yours, and is there any way I can get an autograph?
Elijah Wood:Well, if I see you somewhere, and you have a pen and something for me to sign, of course, absolutely! Just come up and say,Elijah, I was on the chat, and I asked you for your autograph.” I’ll sign something for you.
Question:Elijah, is it true that you kept the actual ring from the movie?
Elijah Wood:I did. I was given the ring by Peter and his partner Fran when I went to say goodbye to them at the airport leaving New Zealand. They said they had a gift for me, handed me the box, and there was a little pouch with the ring inside it. It was very sweet.
AOL:Here’s a good question from
Question:What animal would describe your personality, and why?
Elijah Wood:A monkey. I’m pretty active, and I like to climb things, and I was always called a monkey as a kid. I liked to climb in the cupboards. I like hugging.
AOL:LOL, ZanAmadio has a really
Question:If you are in fact Elijah Wood, what did you do for fun while in New Zealand?
Elijah Wood: I’m actually an imposter. Elijah couldn’t make it! LOL.
Elijah Wood:I learned how to surf, which was great fun. Us Hobbits took up the art of surfing. I got a surfboard and a wetsuit. There was many a surfing trip. It was a great way to enjoy the beauty of New Zealand. There were a few kind of vacation-vacations. We went to Sydney for a week, some bars and restaurants. A few people did some bungee jumping. I didn’t do it — I wish I would have.
AOL:MOMof4gr8kids would like to
Question:Tolkien’s Middle-earth is so vibrant and rich with its own history that it’s easy for readers to become absorbed into his universe. I realize that you were working surrounded by equipment, but were you able to experience any of the magic of the story?
Elijah Wood:Oh, I think so, absolutely. The artistry and the passion involved were so incredible to be around. It really represented the magic of the books. Even though there was a lot of equipment, the location was real. It was on a farmer’s land. The set had been built a year before and was ready for us. It was there right before our eyes, all of New Zealand as well, and looking at it from the perspective that it is Middle-earth was amazing.
Question:How did you hear about this movie?
Elijah Wood:Well, Kimbagirlie, I heard about this from Harry Knowles on the set of ‘The Faculty.’ He told me I HAD to be Frodo. It sounded so cool, but nothing was set in stone. Once I heard they were casting for it from my agent, I jumped into the audition process, and the rest is history, as they say.
Question:Do you feel like they have stayed true to Tolkien’s vision, especially concerning Arwen and the elves?
Elijah Wood:I believe so. I think that it was our primary focus to stay as true to Tolkien as possible, especially since it was made by fans of the book. In terms of Arwen, Arwen isn’t in the books as much as she is in the films, but the story of Arwen is represented true. For the purpose of the film, in adding a tad bit of romance to increase the dynamic of the film, it was important to flush out the character a little bit more. We just increased what was already basically there from the books to the film.
AOL:Here’s another good one from
Question:Have any weird experiences when you were in New Zealand?
AOL:Come on, tell us, Elijah! There has to be one. Give us the dirt!
Elijah Wood:I can’t think of any weird experiences. Actually, there was time that during the month of November — which for New Zealand is heading towards summer. The weather isn’t supposed to be too cold. It got horrible and started to rain, which was OK for the sequence we were filming. It started to rain early in the morning, then as they day progressed, it turned into sleet, then snow. The snow became so heavy, they had to stop filming. The snow looked incredible, but it became a hazard, so we had to rush out of there. The Hobbits hopped into a car, but we got stuck in a ditch. An SUV came by and towed us out. After that, we sat in the laundry room of the hotel and dried off our feet and drank wine. But the snow was amazing — the flakes were huge, and you could see the massive details of the flakes.
AOL:Well, Elijah, that’s all the time that we have for today. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat. I can’t wait to see the movie!
Elijah Wood:Thank you guys for showing up. It’s been really fun chatting with you. These experiences are really cool and take me away from press junkets. Enjoy the film on the 19th!
AOL:Bye! Happy holidays!