With nearly two dozen feature films already to his credit, it’s no surprise that 21-year-old Elijah Wood landed his first movie role at the age of 8.

That bit part–as a boy playing a video game in “Back to the Future II”–was hardly an indicator of what was to come. Wood quickly established himself as a go-to child actor in films such as “Avalon,” “Radio Flyer,” and “North,” the latter of which garnered the young thespian critical praise despite being a box-office flop.

Though Wood was keeping himself busy as a teen actor with parts in “The Faculty” and “Sudden Impact” in the late ’90s, when he heard about plans to make live-action features of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy “Lord of the Rings,” he actively lobbied for the part of Frodo Baggins. It worked.

“Elijah instinctively understands how to act for the screen,” “Rings” director Peter Jackson told Premiere last year. “It’s quite humbling to see so much talent in someone so young.”

With the second and third parts of the trilogy due in 2002 and 2003, Wood will continue to enjoy the fruits of Middle Earth for a long time. But the seasoned actor is quick to point out that as far as life in Hollywood is concerned, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality.

“I simply want to carry on doing what I am doing for as long as I can, and I don’t want to take advantage of a specific moment and burn out really quickly,” he told Premiere. “Believe me, the world does not revolve around movies. Mine certainly doesn’t.”