In the December 2003 issue of Brio magazine, there was an interview conducted in which members of the cast were asked this question: “While working on these movies, did you learn a particular life lesson that would be valuable for teens today?” Ringer Spy Observer sent us this interesting transcript of the answers.

Sean Astin: “Contentment. That you can’t do everything all at once, right away. Be patient and take things as they come. Learn to live each moment. I’ve finally gotten to that place.”

Miranda Otto: “‘Lord of the Rings’ reveres things I think society is aching to go back to [such as] honor, loyalty and dignity – qualities we tend to forgo so quickly for money. If someone says, ‘I’ll give you $200 if you take your clothes off and run around the block,’ a lot of people will do it.”

Peter Jackson: “The need for determination. You have to believe in yourself and not let anything stand in your way. There have been several periods in the history of this project when it could’ve just died.”

Andy Serkis: “Not taking people at face value…. It’s important to understand the nature of the dark and light sides of our personalities.”

Dominic Monaghan: “Keep what’s pure – love of friends, your family, or defending something good and honest that you believe in – as opposed to greed, power, hunger, and domination.”

Brad Douriff: “The whole theme of fear and confrontation with yourself. What you’re afraid of seems bigger than you are, but if you let it overwhelm you and overcome you it makes you small. If you face it, you triumph and become much more.”

John Rhys-Davies: “Unity, courage, and a willingness to sacrifice yourself. We all have a choice: we’re either slaves or princes in this life. We make slaves of ourselves so readily and so easily.”

Billy Boyd: “Don’t get all stressed out wondering where your next 10 years are going to go. Partly from playing a hobbit and partly from living in New Zealand, which has a more laid-back lifestyle, I’ve learned to be more happy in what’s happening now.”

Bernard Hill: “For the battle scenes we learned sword positions and practiced a lot.

Because it can be dangerous, we needed to trust each other. So we’d hang out with the stunt guys and really got to know each other. When it came time for filming the Helm’s Deep scenes, they’d arrive in makeup and Uruk-hai armor with their false teeth in and we’d hear the call, ‘OK, heads on!’ So they’d put their heads on and come at us, and you couldn’t tell who was who.

My immediate reaction was, ‘Ugh, I don’t like this person.’ Then you’d hear, ‘Hey, Shaw!’ ‘Who’s that?’ ‘Andy.’ “Oh Andy, hi!’ Inside this head was my friend. But with the head on something happened to him. I was frightened of this person because of an appearance that was only prosthetic deep. It forced me to think about my fears and innate prejudice.”

Elijah Wood: “You don’t realize how important your friends are until you need them. During tough times when you lose perspective or have mental or emotional fatigue,those are the people who pick you up and tell you, ‘It’s cool. We’re in this together.’ Embrace those friends that you have.’