For those of you who missed this interview back in December, TORN put up a transcript. Now thanks to Lisa we have a more accurate version:
From “The Late Show with David Letterman” (CBS)
[Earlier on in the show, when Dave is announcing whos on the show]
DAVE: Elijah Wood is here this evening. (applause) Hes the star of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”. It opens December 9th (mistake!). This is gonna be another one of those blockbuster movies like the Harry Potter Movie.
PAUL: Oh yeah.
DAVE: Its gonna be a huge, big thing.
PAUL: Oh yeah
DAVE: And hes a kid, hes only like 20 years old. Yeah, when I was 20 I had a paper route.
PAUL: Yes. (laughter and applause)
[Interview with Elijah Wood]
DAVE: Our next guest is a talented actor. He stars in the new epic motion picture “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”. It opens December 19th. Heres Elijah Wood. (applause)
[Elijah comes out, waves to the audience and says “Hello” to them, then shakes Daves hand and sits down]
ELIJAH: (points to mug on the edge of the desk) Is this for me or is this for you?
DAVE: Its all yours.
ELIJAH: Oh, cheers, man (takes a sip).
DAVE: How ya doin?
ELIJAH: Very well.
ELIJAH: Overwhelmed. This movies coming out; its the biggest thing Ive ever been a part of.
DAVE: Well, why dont you tell us a little bit about yourself and then well talk all about the film. Youre… I was right, youre like, a kid, right? Youre gonna be 21? Is that right?
ELIJAH: Im gonna be 21, yeah.
DAVE: Yeah, thats a kid. (applause)
ELIJAH: Thank you, thank you. Ive always felt older than I was, so finally I feel like Im catching up with myself.
DAVE: Tell me about your early life. How did you begin in show business, that kind of stuff; where are you from, whatd you do?
ELIJAH: Uh, originally from Iowa, actually, um, and I .. (scattered applause)
ELIJAH: Oh! Are there people from Iowa here? Fantastic! Uh, and then I sort of moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning, and one thing led after another.
DAVE: You moved with your family? Is that what you did?
ELIJAH: Yeah, we all moved out together to pursue….
DAVE: And why did the whole family go to California from Iowa?
ELIJAH: Uh, basically for me and my brother to kind of pursue acting, and my brother got out of it early and I kind of kept going, so, here I am.
DAVE: Its turned out pretty well, hasnt it?
ELIJAH: Pretty well. Im very lucky.
DAVE: And you did this movie in New Zealand, is that correct?
ELIJAH: I did. I lived there for 16 months, unbelievably.
ELIJAH: Yeah, it was a life experience.
DAVE: What was….
ELIJAH: It was truly profound.
DAVE: I understand its physically quite a lovely place, but other than that, what was it like? Just…were you there on your own?
ELIJAH: I was there on my own, had my own house, had my own car. So, aside from making the movie, I had my own life there, which is pretty incredible. And we got out some pretty crazy stuff. I learned how to surf while I was there, which is amazing, and did this thing called paraponting
DAVE: Para Im sorry, what is the word? Para
ELIJAH: I…I think thats how you spell it, yeah.
DAVE: Ive not heard of that.
ELIJAH: You get a parachute and you jump off a hill and you kind of ride the uh… the air.
DAVE: Mmmm…. (scattered laughter from the audience, Elijah laughs)
DAVE: You can also do the same thing by jumping out of a shnook. (laughter)
ELIJAH: A shnook. As… as…I was watching. (applause)
DAVE: Jump out of a shnook.
ELIJAH: A Chinook, as she was saying. Right. (applause)
DAVE: Uh, and the people in New Zealand have a real zest for life, they love that kind of dangerous stuff, dont they?
ELIJAH: They do. They love bungee jumping, jumping out of planes, you know, snowboarding, that sort of thing. I didnt do bungee jumping. I think I was a little too nervous for that. Admittedly.
DAVE: And, you were there, you say, a year and a half, and… and everybody got to know one another, and got along pretty well and you did stuff as a… as a family after a while…
ELIJAH: As a group, yeah. I mean, we really became a fellowship like that in the film.
DAVE: Mmm hmmm…
ELIJAH: Some of the best friends of my life, I made on this, so it was pretty incredible.
DAVE: What kind of things would you do, when you werent shooting the movie, with your buddies on the film?
ELIJAH: Uh, well, we did the surfing I got a, you know, a wetsuit and a surfboard, got involved in that. A lot of bars, went to a lot of bars, just… (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs) The local pubs, as you do. I got very ingrained in the English culture so, very familiar with that.
DAVE: And….and was there talk of everybody getting tattoos, did that happen? (scattered laughter)
ELIJAH: That did… that did happen. Uh, we became so close on the movie, as a fellowship, we felt that, you know, the experience and the profundity of the experience deserved to be branded physically.
DAVE: Mmm hmm…
ELIJAH: So we all went to a tattoo parlour about a week before we finished and got branded together, which was really incredible…
ELIJAH: And Ian McKellen actually got a tattoo as well.
DAVE: Mmm, and…and uh, you…I dont see it, but…and I dont know if I wanna see it, but you…
ELIJAH: Its…its here (points to lower right torso) so I dont think I can show it.
DAVE: And then what…
ELIJAH: I dont think that would be a good idea.
DAVE: And what…what is it? (laughter and shouts from the audience of “show it!”; Dave grins at them)
ELIJAH: Its actually Elvish, which is the language….
DAVE: You got a tattoo of Elvis?
ELIJAH: No no…. (he laughs, and laughter from the audience). Its…its Elvish, which is actually the language of the Elves.
DAVE: Oh, oh, oh, I see.
ELIJAH: And it stands for the…it stands for “nine,” the nine members of the fellowship.
DAVE: Was it painful, when that happened?
ELIJAH: REALLY painful, and…and….(laughter). Yeah. And the funny thing about that is…is I was asking various people whod had tattoos if it was painful, and they were like “No no no, its fine, youre.. youre gonna be fine.”…
DAVE: Yeah… (he laughs)
ELIJAH: My GOD . (Dave and audience laugh). Ridiculous. Ive never been in so much pain in my life.
DAVE: And… and how long before you got over, where….whenever youd take a shower….you… how long did it take you to get over “Oh, jeez!” that? (looking at his lower right torso).
ELIJAH: Umm…it…it… (he laughs and the audience begins laughing).
DAVE: O God, what is….you know where you got….you know what Im saying?
ELIJAH: (putting his hand where the tatoo is) The….the “Oh! Its there.”
DAVE: My God. Oh, its my thing, uh…yeah…
ELIJAH: I know…. I know. It took about… it took about a….a couple of months, I think. (Dave and audience laugh). Im very proud of it, though. I still look at it when I get out of the shower.
DAVE: Yeah, and uh….(audience laughs).
ELIJAH: (looking at the audience) Sorry. Its a little personal, I know…I know. (laughter and applause). Take a look down. Forever remember the fellowship.
DAVE: How long do you think you can go in a pool? Nevermind. (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs)
DAVE: Uh, and when is your 21st birthday?
ELIJAH: January 28th.
DAVE: Oh, you got a big celebration planned?
ELIJAH: Um, Im…Im thinking about going to Vegas. I think its time to go to Vegas.
DAVE: Thats…thats the thing to do, yeah.
ELIJAH: Absolutely…were gonna uh…a prerequisite to wear suits, do the old Rat Pack thing, you know, bring all my friends. I think itll be good. Lots of debauchery (Dave laughs), lots of drinking. (scattered laughter). As you do.
DAVE: Now this…uh, this movie, as…as you talk about it, youre very excited, because it…it looks like its gonna be uh….a very…and has been widely anticipated…
DAVE: … and decidedly so, and its gonna be an enormous film, so that must be a real thrill for you. Is it already making a difference in….in your life, your daily life?
ELIJAH: Its…its kind of scary…
ELIJAH: Ive never been a part of anything quite this big before, so…yeah, a bit. I think, um, actually, while we were still filming, I came home a few times… people were already calling me Frodo, which is the name of my character. So its…its starting to have an impact.
DAVE: Mmmm hmmm, and…and is that all right with you, to be called Frodo? (Elijah and audience laugh)
ELIJAH: Im very familiar with it. Im…Ive taken the character on as a piece of me, so .
ELIJAH: Thats all right. You can call me Frodo. (Dave laughs) Go on, Dave, its okay.
DAVE: (laughing) All right, Frodo. (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs) Whatever you want. Now, lets um…(reaches to the side of his desk to pull out the action figure wrapped in plastic)
ELIJAH: Oh, what do you have there?
DAVE: This looks like it uh…I think its your action figure, is that right? You…you cant have a movie anymore without an action figure? (takes it out of the package and places it on the desk in front of Elijah) This just looks like a…a chess piece.
ELIJAH: Oh my god.
DAVE: Is that you?
ELIJAH: Is this from Burger King?
DAVE: I dont…I dont…you know I just…(audience begins laughing)
ELIJAH: Okay, but here, I have one question…
DAVE: …it comes with a deal here….(fumbling with package)
ELIJAH: Why is one foot invisible and the other not? What is that all about? You see this? (pointing to the action figures feet). Invisible foot….
DAVE: I assumed it was part of the movie.
ELIJAH: No, its not, actually.
DAVE: Does it….it goes on that thing there you gotta… you gotta put it on the thing…(struggles to fit figure on its base)
ELIJAH: Oh dear.
DAVE: Some assembly required. (laughter from audience, Elijah tries to help him). Ill get it. (pulls the toy to the middle of his desk)
ELIJAH: (leaning towards Dave) Put it…put it the other way, the other way around, I think.
DAVE: Just….please, Frodo.
ELIJAH: (puts his hands up and sits back) Alright. Alright. (audience laughs, applause) Just trying to help. (more applause as Dave struggles with the figure; Elijah laughs) You all right, Dave?
DAVE: It…it looks like hes standing on a…a pork chop. I dont know .(laughter)
ELIJAH: (laughing) It kinda does resemble a pork chop.
DAVE: Is that part of the story? There. (puts the assembled figure, on stand, in front of Elijah)
ELIJAH: There it is.
DAVE: Wow. Thats a nice piece of work, isnt it? (laughter)
ELIJAH: Very nice.
DAVE: Now, do you get a little uh….a little taste of this, whenever they sell these things? Are you…do you get a piece of it?
ELIJAH: I…I do, Im…Ive actually….I went to New Line recently and said “I need to be on the mailing list. I want all the merchandise.”
ELIJAH: I dont wanna be on eBay in 20 years having to search this stuff down. (Dave laughs) Im a total geek for this stuff. Ive been collecting action figures for years, so… its really cool to have my own figure.(Dave continues to struggle with the figure)
DAVE: Whoopsie….alright. I dont know, I uh….
ELIJAH: Oh, come on, get it right! (he laughs, and audience laughs)
DAVE: Uh, lets uh…lets show them a little bit of the movie here. Do you know what the clip is were gonna see?
ELIJAH: I…I dont, actually. (looking at Dave)
DAVE: Oh, come on.
ELIJAH: What…what is the clip?
DAVE: You gotta know what the clip is!
ELIJAH: (looking toward the cameras and the audience questioningly) Whats…whats the clip?
DAVE: I dont know, Im not in the movie!
ELIJAH: Uh….its….. (he laughs, audience laughs)
DAVE: You gotta know!
ELIJAH: Oh, I think Im being….Im being….
DAVE: You were in New Zealand for a year and a half, for Gods sake!
ELIJAH: Im being chased by a Ringwraith. Thats what it is.
DAVE: Im sorry….
ELIJAH: Im being chased by a Ringwraith, a Black Rider. Its very scary.
DAVE: Okay, here we go, being chased by a Ringwraith. Here we…
ELIJAH: A Ringwraith.
DAVE: Thats right. Elijah Wood. Take a look.
[clip of “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” – hobbits being chased by Black Rider onto the dock at Buckleberry Ferry]. (applause from the audience)
ELIJAH: Run! (watching and referring to the clip)
DAVE: Wow. (clapping) There you go. All right, well listen, happy birthday.
ELIJAH: Thank you.
DAVE: Enjoy yourself in Las Vegas.
ELIJAH: Thank you.
DAVE: And uh…December twenty….first? Is that what this…
ELIJAH: Dec…uh…December 19th is the release of the film.
DAVE: December 19th, great.
DAVE: Well, good. I know its gonna be a big hit. Congratulations.
ELIJAH: Thank you very much.
DAVE: Thank you for being here.(they shake hands, cheers and applause)
DAVE: Elijah Wood everybody. Well be right back with Stereophonics.(applause and music)