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. Its a regal movie!
EW: Im not the king, tho! Viggo is.
JL: Thats alright. Youre as close tonight as we have to a king.
EW: Ill do, then?
JL: Forget the movie, even tho its 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 youve moved out of your moms house?
EW: Thats right. (to the band) I think I need a little music for that, guys
JL: Wow. Thats amazing.
EW: I thought youd like that, Jay.
JL: Because the last time you were here I was teasing you about living at your moms house, folding the socks and all.
EW: Shes does all of the laundry and all that sort of stuff. No, no! Not any more. Not any more.
JL: Wheres the new place?
EW: Its in the Flat Iron District in Manhattan.
JL: Oh, youre in New York! Okay!
EW: Yeah, in New York.
JL: Now how does one go about that? I mean, youre a young guy. Did they recognize you, for instance? Did they know its you, or do they go, this kid wants an apartment, lets get out of here?
EW: They were actually, to be honest, they were very nervous about me getting the apartment because Im an actor, so it was kind of a rigorous screening process. Because the building that Im 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 dont have parties.
JL: Well, parties with your sister, that seems almost creepy, but, ya know. Now youre just back from where, New Zealand?
EW: Back from New Zealand yesterday morning.
JL: Which is really today.
JL: So youve only been back an hour.
EW: Thats right.
JL: Its confusing, isnt it?
EW: Its a little weird.
JL: How long a flight is that?
EW: Its about 12 hours. A 12 hour plane flight.
JL: Well thats not too bad.
EW: Not too bad, but wed 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 dont know. I dont 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 peoples 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 Id 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 youre 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 wasnt necessary.
JL: Okay, well take a little break, more with Elijah after this.
(coming back from commercial)
JL: Were 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 wasnt on set, actually. There was plenty of drinking, not on set. There was one sort of experience that we had.
EW: Well, yeah. Theres a fountain in the center of Wellington that was a point of particular frustration for myself and for Dom Monaghan whos in the film, he plays Merry, and its 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 doesnt 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 theyd 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, whos 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, lets climb it! I said, alright, lets 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 dont 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 wed 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, Im just coming up with gems, arent 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: Its an amazing series of movies, and you did them all at once, didnt 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 thats where that scene is! Did you shoot them in order
EW: Completely out of sequence. It is one story so its not too crazy. But yeah, this is it. This is the end of the journey.
JL: (cueing monitor) Now what is this footage were going to see? Whats 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 Gollums picture up there. And then I realized, its James Carvell (shows split screen with pic of Gollum and J.Carvell). It couldnt be more exactly. Amazing!
EW: Thats fantastic!
JL: What an amazing likeness.
EW: We should give James a call.
JL: And youre hosting Saturday Night Live, right, on the 13th?
EW: Thats right.
JL: Are you nervous about that?
EW: I am quite nervous about it, but Im 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 dont want to go, to tell you
JL: I dont to go there, but youll have fun!
EW: It will be awesome.
JL: Elijah, congratulations! Youre doing terrific work.