Today we are taking a look at an actor with a previous connection to The Lord of the Rings; Peter Tait is not only working on Amazon’s series, but can boast having a role in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy as well – AND a connection to Sir Peter through a short film.

Peter Tait cast in Amazon Prime's The Lord of the Rings TV Series
Peter Tait

The New Zealand actor and director portrayed the Black Uruk-hai Shagrat as well as a Corsair of Umbar in The Return of the King. In the film, while Frodo lay bound in the tower of Cirith Ungol, Shagrat claims his mithril shirt and starts a skirmish amongst the orcs that leaves them almost all dead. When Samwise arrives, he heroically slays the last few orcs while Shagrat escapes with the mithril shirt, which is later used by the Mouth of Sauron to taunt the Fellowship at the Black Gate. Tait’s character of Shagrat has been commemorated as an action figure, sculpts, and on Lord of the Rings trading cards.

Peter Tait as Shagrat in The Return of the King
Peter Tait as Shagrat in <em>The Return of the King<em>

Tait was also the writer, executive producer, and an actor in the 2004 short film Bogans, which features Peter Jackson in a very pointed cameo. A road movie with a sense of humor, about three likeable losers who seek to land roles as hobbits in the just announced Lord of the Rings trilogy, the story finds them getting into character by digging a hole to “live in” – in the front yard of someone who has the same name as the then little known director.

Bogans cast, Peter Tait on the right.
<em>Bogans <em>cast Peter Tait on the right

At the end of the movie, when they actually run into Sir Peter crossing the street in his accustomed bare feet, the job-seekers pass him off as a “hippie”, little knowing how close they actually came to attaining their dream.

Peter Jackson in Bogans, written by Peter Tait.
Peter Jackson in <em>Bogans<em> written by Peter Tait

Peter also wrote, directed, and acted in Back River Road, a low-budget feature nominated for a Nokia New Zealand Film Award, and his filmography includes roles in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Wild Horses. Director Alison Maclean in Issue 13 of P.O.V said about the actor, “He just has such a very strong, physical presence.” Perhaps he will reprise his role as an orc in LotR on Prime; or maybe his “presence” would make him a good fit for a Black Númenórean.

The One Ring

Editor Note: Join as we focus on the recent cast member announcements for Amazon TV’s The Lord of the Rings inspired TV series. Throughout the month, and as part of our Tolkien Advent Calendar celebration, we will be taking a deep-dive into their previous work, relating that to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Today’s calendar is below!

Day 11 of TheOneRingnets Advent Calendar 2020