A BIG thank you to Cyloran for this transcript, photos to come soon.

(EW enters to band playing Shire theme)

Elijah Wood: My God, such a regal entrance!

Jay Leno: It is a regal entrance. It’s a regal movie!

EW: I’m not the king, tho! Viggo is.

JL: That’s alright. You’re as close tonight as we have to a king.

EW: I’ll do, then?

JL: Forget the movie, even tho it’s like the biggest movie ever and it will make more money – forget that. Something that has amazed me more than anything else, you have finally got your own place! Did I hear that you’ve moved out of your mom’s house?

EW: That’s right. (to the band) I think I need a little music for that, guys

JL: Wow. That’s amazing.

EW: I thought you’d like that, Jay.

JL: Because the last time you were here I was teasing you about living at your mom’s house, folding the socks and all.

EW: She’s does all of the laundry and all that sort of stuff. No, no! Not any more. Not any more.

JL: Where’s the new place?

EW: It’s in the Flat Iron District in Manhattan.

JL: Oh, you’re in New York! Okay!

EW: Yeah, in New York.

JL: Now how does one go about that? I mean, you’re a young guy. Did they recognize you, for instance? Did they know it’s you, or do they go, this kid wants an apartment, let’s get out of here?

EW: They were actually, to be honest, they were very nervous about me getting the apartment because I’m an actor, so it was kind of a rigorous screening process. Because the building that I’m renting from, the people actually own the building that live in the building, and so they met my sister and I who also moved out there with me, and they wanted to sit down with us and sort of have a chat about us living there, because they had a lot of questions in regards to, you know, do we stay up late at night, do we have parties, that kind of thing, because I think they had an idea of me that is not me.

JL: Let me ask you this, do you stay up late at night or do you have parties?

EW: I stay up late, I don’t have parties.

JL: Well, parties with your sister, that seems almost creepy, but, ya know. Now you’re just back from where, New Zealand?

EW: Back from New Zealand yesterday morning.

JL: Which is really today.

EW: Exactly.

JL: So you’ve only been back an hour.

EW: That’s right.

JL: It’s confusing, isn’t it?

EW: It’s a little weird.

JL: How long a flight is that?

EW: It’s about 12 hours. A 12 hour plane flight.

JL: Well that’s not too bad.

EW: Not too bad, but we’d just had a massive premiere and parade the day before. 125,000 people in the town of Wellington, the city of Wellington, came out for the premiere. It was pretty extraordinary.

JL: Now in the parade are you dressed as the characters or do you dress normally?

EW: I dress normally. I was in a suit, yeah. It would be pretty silly if we –

JL: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how those things work.

EW: Right, okay.

JL: Not being an actor, you know. Now you shot the whole movie down there, so one must go a little stir crazy being far from home.

EW: A bit, yeah.

JL: I mean, did you pull pranks? Did you do things like that to one another?

EW: There was a bit of pranks on the set. I mean, you know, it was a rigorous schedule so we had to kind of mix it up a little bit to sort of ease the tension. There was one time where Dom Monaghan, who plays one of the hobbits, and myself fashioned . . . we had this idea because Viggo, one of the other actors in the film, had been attacking people’s trailers and sort of decorating them in horrible ways and so we –

JL: Attacking their trailers and decorating them?

EW: Yeah, yeah. Sort of spray painting the trailers and coming up with ways to sort of decimate various actors’ trailers, so we came up with this idea to fashion a turd, a piece of poo—

JL: Yeah, I think we know what a turd is. Anybody not familiar with a turd? You know, poo?

EW: You know, poo. Thought I’d clarify it.

JL: Of course.

EW: Out of this sort of cotton material. We were in getting our feet worked on, as you do when you’re a hobbit, and we basically took this sort of cotton material, got some paint which there were lots of various colors of paints –

JL: Turd colored.

EW: Yeah, a good brown. In fact, they did have a poo color.

JL: This is more information than I want.

EW: So we sort of molded these wonderful poos that ended up looking very realistic and then we set them on his doorstep of his trailer. I think that went over very well.

JL: Let me ask you this. When you went for your apartment in New York, did you tell them this turd story. Did they know?

EW: No, that was not included. It wasn’t necessary.

JL: Okay, we’ll take a little break, more with Elijah after this.

(coming back from commercial)

JL: We’re back with Elijah Wood from Lord of the Rings. Sorry about being in New Zealand. Now I heard about some drinking that happened on the set, did I hear through the grapevine?

EW: It wasn’t on set, actually. There was plenty of drinking, not on set. There was one sort of experience that we had.

JL: Experience?

EW: Well, yeah. There’s a fountain in the center of Wellington that was a point of particular frustration for myself and for Dom Monaghan who’s in the film, he plays Merry, and it’s a fountain that is made of buckets. Colored buckets that each, the water sort of comes down and falls from one bucket to the next bucket to the next, so it lands in this sort of pool. But it doesn’t actually work because the sort of area around the fountain is sprayed with water as well. So we walked by this thing and people would walk by and they’d get water on them, and I thought, this is poor engineering. Why would someone create a bucket like this? Fountain like this. So one particular drunken evening, Dom, myself, Billy, who’s also in the film, were walking home from a bar and we saw this fountain, and Dom and I look at it and went, that thing is rubbish! And he said, yeah, we should conquer it. I said, conquer it? He said, yeah, come on, let’s climb it! I said, alright, let’s climb it! So we climb the thing . . . (laughs, then shakes his head) . . . and, um, once we got to the top, what else is there to do?

JL: I don’t know.

EW: But urinate in it. And really show our disgust.

JL: You know, this is why Americans are loved around the world. We go to a foreign country and we urinate in the fountain.

EW: There you go.

JL: Now the people walking by, rather than just be splashed with water, would have urine on them as well.

EW: Possibly, yeah. And Peter, Peter Jackson was very upset. The director of our film, was very upset when he found out that we’d done this. I believe he was heard to say, but I grew up with that fountain! Which was a bit of a shame, so I felt a bit bad after that.

JL: So we had the turd story, and we have the –

EW: Yeah, I’m just coming up with gems, aren’t I?

JL: It was good. Now tell us about the movie. This is the big one? La dee da, the king and the whole bit.

EW: This is it.

JL: It’s an amazing series of movies, and you did them all at once, didn’t you?

EW: All at once, yeah, we shot over 16 months in New Zealand.

JL: Okay, so you must be stunned when you watch, oh that’s where that scene is! Did you shoot them in order –

EW: Completely out of sequence. It is one story so it’s not too crazy. But yeah, this is it. This is the end of the journey.

JL: (cueing monitor) Now what is this footage we’re going to see? What’s happening here?

EW: I believe this is Sam and Frodo and Gollum, and Sam is attacking Gollum because he suspects him of some villainy and Frodo is saying that we need to keep Gollum with us.

(shows Sam Frodo Gollum clip)

JL: You know, I was trying to think of who Gollum looks like. Put Gollum’s picture up there. And then I realized, it’s James Carvell (shows split screen with pic of Gollum and J.Carvell). It couldn’t be more exactly. Amazing!

EW: That’s fantastic!

JL: What an amazing likeness.

EW: We should give James a call.

JL: And you’re hosting Saturday Night Live, right, on the 13th?

EW: That’s right.

JL: Are you nervous about that?

EW: I am quite nervous about it, but I’m also very excited. It will be a good time.

JL: Have you hosted before?

EW: No. First time.

JL: Oh! First time! Ohhh, so you get the initiation – oh, I don’t want to go, to tell you –

EW: Okay.

JL: I don’t to go there, but you’ll have fun!

EW: It will be awesome.

JL: Elijah, congratulations! You’re doing terrific work.