Although he was involved in acting since an early age, Elijah emerged as a Hollywood superstar after his roles in the "Lord Of The Ring" movies. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Warren and Debbie Wood welcomed the arrival of Elijah Jordan on January 28th, 1981, their second of three children. As a toddler, little Elijah showed an affinity for performing and his mother, on a whim, took him to a large modeling and talent convention in Los Angeles. Scouts recognized his knack for entertaining and with that, a child star was born. After seeing that his appearance in a few commercials would lead to greater things, the Wood family moved out West to fuel Elijah's rise. His first big gig arrived when he was cast in '80s pop star Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" video, which he followed up with a role as "Video Game Boy #1" in Back to the Future Part II.
It wasn't until Wood starred in his first big part, in Barry Levinson's critically acclaimed Avalon, that fans began to notice this budding child star. At 11 years old, Wood could add two other movies to his resume; Radio Flyer with Lorraine Bracco and Forever Young with Mel Gibson. With each film, Wood was gaining great experience. And fans could see an improvement, despite the commercial failure of 1994's North and The War, especially since he was the redeeming quality of both these movies. Spots in hit TV shows like Frasier and Homicide: Life on the Street helped breathe new life into his career after getting unlucky with his last two movies. Wood then got back on track with Flipper, the 1996 adaptation of the popular television series.
Soon Elijah Wood was on a roll. First in the parade was 1997's The Ice Storm, in which he co-starred with Sigourney Weaver (who portrayed his dysfunctional mother). Then came the Armageddon-themed Deep Impact in 1998, in which a meteor headed toward Earth threatens to end all existence. The Faculty was released that same year, and featured Elijah as a student who suspects that his teachers are from another planet. All did well at the box office, and cemented the notion that Wood had gone from a young, raw talent to a full-fledged Hollywood star.
On the set of The Faculty, Wood heard that Peter Jackson was undertaking a huge project and was immediately drawn to it. After Wood sent in an original audition tape for the role of Frodo Baggins, Jackson had no choice but to cast him as the central figure in the epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Filming started in New Zealand and continued for more than a year as all three films (adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien books) were filmed consecutively. The experience was life-altering for Wood, as he forged close bonds with the film's other actors and grew not only professionally, but also personally. In fact, thanks to many TV specials and DVDs on the subject, the filming of LOTR has become subjected to legendary status, which Wood full-heartedly agrees with.
Thanks to incredible media hype, innovative computer generated graphics and great acting, The Fellowship of the Ring raked in truckloads of money during its opening weekend in December 2001. Elijah Wood's portrayal of Frodo became internationally recognized and his popularity only became stronger with the December 2002 release of The Two Towers. The critical acclaim and accolades that came with the first two installments have increased the anticipation for the final episode, The Return of the King, to a fever pitch.
Admirably, Wood has not simply sat back and milked the success of The Lord of the Rings. Surely fans will see a different but equally great side of him in his next two projects: Thumbsucker and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both set for release in 2003. From child actor to adult superstar, Elijah Wood has seen and done it all -- and he's only in his early 20s. We can't wait to see what sort of status he reaches after another decade or two in the biz.
More fun facts about Elijah Wood
Birth name: Elijah Jordan Wood
Nickname Elwood, Lij and Monkey
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Melissa Joan Hart wanted him to play the male lead in Drive Me Crazy (1999) because she thought it would take some of the pressure off her in her first leading role. However, she was told that he looked too young next to her, and the role went to Adrian Grenier.
Parents' names are Warren and Debbie Wood
Elijah has an older (7 years) brother Zack and a younger sister Hannah Wood (born 7th November 1983).
Presented at Academy Awards in place of Macaulay Culkin
He was the first recipient of the NATO/ShoWest Young Star of the Year Award
Elijah Wood heard about the Lord of the Rings trilogy while filming The Faculty (1998). Immediately, he sensed that this was the chance of a lifetime. Director George Huang, a personal friend of Wood's, filmed his audition tape for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He shot the scene from different angles which were cut together for the video. They sent the video off to New Zealand for director Peter Jackson and a few months later, he got the part.
the Smashing Pumpkins are his favourite band
Owns one of two prop rings used in "Lord of the Rings." The other went to Andy Serkis, who played Gollum.
As of December 2003, Elijah lived in a New York apartment with his sister Hannah Wood. However, within a few months he moved back into his mother's guest house in Santa Monica, California, where he lived previously, stating he couldn't justify the rent on the apartment since he spent so little time there.
He became a child model when his mother wanted him to burn off excessive energy.
Admits to owning thousands of CDs in many musical genres, because he loves music so much.
Two of his favorite books are "The Hobbit" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Is a fan of ex-Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan's new band, Zwan.
Considers Frodo Baggins to be his best role.
Is the first member of the official "Lord of the Rings" fanclub.
Studies singing professionally.
Suffered acute appendicitis and was briefly hospitalized [August 2003]
Aspires to start a record company.
Wears clear contact lenses.
[about urinating in Peter Jackson's favourite fountain in Wellington, NZ, after a night out drinking:] "We were walking home and saw this fountain. Dom [Dominic Monaghan] and I looked at it and he said 'We should conquer it.' Once we got to the top, what else was there to do but urinate in it?" [quoted in MX (Melbourne, Australia), December 11, 2003]
[hearing that Sean Astin wanted to correct rumors that his character Sam Gamgee had a homosexual love for Frodo:] "Yeah, we've never had that perspective on the relationship, but there is a real bond and a real closeness. Which was easy for Sean and I because we became so close making the film. So it's a natural thing to display and to show and I think it comes across without any real effort ... Frodo really starts to fail physically and emotionally and mentally, so Sam is there to kind of pick up the pieces and show his affection for Frodo and really almost carry him to the end. So that relationship is really important in this film, particularly. ... I think it's really refreshing and nice. I'm really close with my friends and affectionate, and I don't think that there is anything suspicious about that, necessarily. So it's good to show it and have it be an unisexual thing, definitely." [The Toronto Star, December 12, 2003]
Dressed up and rode on a float as the god of wine and mirth to head the Bacchus 2004 parade in New Orleans, Louisiana, for Mardi Gras in February, 2004.
In the original book The Lord of the Rings, Frodo is 50 years old when he leaves Bag End, which makes him the oldest of the four lead hobbits. Elijah Wood is actually the youngest of the four actors.
Loves The Hives.
His favorite movie is Harvey (1950).
His uncle is Turk E. Krause from the band Molly Nova and the Hawk.
Each of the nine Fellowship members got the same tattoo: the number nine written in Elvish. Elijah's is just below his waist.
Elijah Wood Leaves Frodo Behind with "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
sheds his hobbit attire for a supporting role in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman ("Adaptation").
As Patrick, Wood spends most of his onscreen time in the company of Mark Ruffalo. Though director Michel Gondry had been looking for a different type of actor to take on the 'Patrick' role, the casting of Wood worked out perfectly as he and Ruffalo wound up having an unexpected big/little brother sort of chemistry. "They are just great to watch. The main storyline can get very emotional and intense, while these two guys are having a really good time," explains Gondry.
INTERVIEW WITH ELIJAH WOOD ('Patrick'):
How’d you get involved in this movie?
To be a part of something like “Lord of the Rings,” which is such a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity, was truly amazing and life-enrichening and so many different things. But it sort of reaffirms my philosophy, [and] makes it even stronger, that I want to continue to do things that are different from the movies that I did last. And that’s even more intense after doing something like that, which is so in the public consciousness for so long that you’re this one thing. So when this came along, it was the perfect opportunity to do something completely different, and to indulge my own interest in Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry.
It was funny, I was driving home one night and I got a call from my agent and she said, “Listen, I’ve got a script here, uh, that Charlie Kaufman wrote. And Michel Gondry…” She said, “Charlie Kaufman,” and I’m like, “Aaaah—What?” And then I said, “Well, who’s directing it?” And she said, “Ah, Michel…Gondry.” [In a really high pitched voice] “Whaaat??” You know, because I’m a huge, huge Michel Gondry fan. I’ve watched his videos for years. The prospect of being able to work on a Kaufman film with him directing was just too good to be true. I got home, had the script, read the script, loved it. Loved its sense of romance and its sort of emotional core, which I’d not really felt in other Kaufman films. Not that there isn’t an emotional attachment to the experiences that his characters generally go through - I think there is - but not in this romantic sense, which I really enjoyed.
I loved the character of Patrick, who is, you know, on the one side incredibly creepy and manipulative, but also at the same time kind of endearing and sweet and sad. Pathetic in the sense that he doesn’t really have any confidence and doesn’t know how to be cool, and doesn’t know how to get the girl. Ultimately I loved it, and I got to meet with Michel while I was in New York doing the junket for “The Two Towers.” I went to his office and I think I asked him more questions about his videos than I did about “Eternal Sunshine.” Then I heard that he really liked me, and I got the role based on that meeting.
This film is so unique romantically, but is there something else that has really inspired you, that has that kind of emotional romantic core of a relationship movie?
I can’t think of anything that is nearly as offbeat as this. But I mean love romantic comedies. I love romantic movies. I’m kind of a sucker for them and sort of end up crying at the end of them all - like a child (laughing).
Is there something you’d like to erase from the public consciousness or your own?
In terms of the public consciousness, I don’t know. The question that comes up a lot is if you had the chance to erase your memory of something specific, what would you erase? And my answer has always been, I wouldn’t erase anything personally. And in some ways, I almost wouldn’t want to erase anything from the public consciousness either for the same reason, which is that our bad memories and our bad experiences are what make us who we are and what make us grow and allow us to learn, if we choose to see the lessons in those experiences.
Is that true of even really bad reality TV? Is everything really worth remembering?
(Laughing) Now when it comes to that, maybe not. But then in the consciousness of the public and in terms of what we’re all are exposed [to], that mediocrity and those elements that we hate and despise sort of allow us to appreciate what’s really great, and it makes it even greater. There has to be that element of the life experience. But, at the same time, I would love to do away with reality television (laughing). I can’t believe that that fad has not ended yet. It’s weird.
How hard is it to wrap your mind around a Charlie Kaufman script?
Oh, it’s not too difficult. I mean, it’s certainly cerebral. But when I read “Eternal Sunshine,” it definitely made sense to me. I understood what it was about, and ultimately what its aim was. It wasn’t altogether confusing. I think you can get lost a little bit in the structure because there are so many layers, and so much of it takes place in Jim Carrey’s mind. But, it’s so clearly labeled in the script that it makes sense. You can kind of read the subtext of a scene and go, “Okay, I kind of know where we are now.” It was actually more confusing I think on [the] set, because then we were trying to apply it. And when we’d apply it, we kind of lost our place as to what we were doing and where we were.
“Right, okay, so I’m in this bookstore, which is also in the thing which is in his memory, so…” You know, that got a little confusing. But his scripts flow incredibly well.
So that was you in the bookstore - even though we don’t see you?
Did the director insist on filming your back – that couldn’t have been a stand-in?
Yes, he insisted on having my back because it’s that classic… In a sort of dream state, or if you’re in a dream and you’re trying to see someone, and you know who it is, or you know what that person represents, but you can’t quite see their face, or make it out. That was the kind of idea, that there is this sense that ‘Joel’ has of this imposter in his life ingratiating himself into Kate Winslet’s life. He’s never seen this person so he gets the back of my head constantly, which is brilliant. So smart, so smart.
You went from this huge, ambitious project to something more intimate but no less ambitious with this movie.
What kind of transition did you have to make?
It’s a different dynamic.
Is this the kind of movie that makes it possible for you to go back to smaller pictures?
Yeah, definitely. You do the smallest movie you can, in some ways. That’s sort of how I felt when I finished “The Lord of the Rings.” I mean, in terms of the dynamic of working on this, the atmosphere for which we were able to do what we were meant to do was really created and set up by Michel. It was an extraordinary environment to work in. Incredibly creative, you know, it was very spontaneous. We didn’t quite know what each day would hold. There were times in which we didn’t know the camera was rolling. He would inspire us to improvise and completely change our perception as to what the scene was in the first place. He would allow us as actors to work together to come up with our own ideas as well, which was wonderful. And it’s a great group of people who were ready and willing to go in that direction, to be sort of free, and led into an environment that they’d not existed in before, which can be kind of nerve-racking. It was kind of unfamiliar for everyone, but it was liberating more than anything.
Can you recall specific instances of that?
Sure, yeah. Well, with Mark Ruffalo, because I spent most of my time with Mark, which was awesome. You know, he’s such a great actor and a great guy. We got on really well, which was awesome because I think both of our characters are sort of reliant on that relationship. I think that relationship is pretty important.
[There’s] one [scene] in which we’re starting the process on ‘Joel,’ and Kirsten [Dunst] comes over. We have a little bit of a conversation before she comes, and then she comes over, and we’re talking about quotes and stuff like that, and that whole scene carries on. Well, midway through many, many takes of that and doing different things, Mark leaned over and he’s like, “We should just laugh the entire time and not say our dialogue and just see what happens - and not tell Kirsten.” “Alright. Game. Whatever. Cool!” So we just kind of winged it, and we’d throw in a line or two but essentially [just] laughed the entire time. Some of it’s in the movie. Some of it’s in that scene. There’s a couple of the laughs that seem slightly out of place. We were given that freedom and it was so invigorating, and so exciting. I would love to work more like this, because I think out of that spontaneity, when it’s not forced, is realism. And I think what Michel really wanted out of us was a sense of reality and sense of real moments, and real connections. And by the way that he set up our mode of filming, I think he really achieved that. I think it really comes through in the film.
does a dramatic turn in this. What’s it like working with him?
It was fascinating. He’s a fascinating guy, incredibly dynamic, multi-layered, not an easy individual to peg you know. And vulnerable as well, which I think is why he’s so good in this film. He’s a great actor, above and beyond all those things, but there is a vulnerability to Jim that he definitely tapped into for this role. It was fascinating to watch him do that. I think this is a difficult role, [it] would be a difficult role for anyone to play. It’s an incredibly subdued, sort of emotionally wrecked, kind of insecure, awkward character, and that’s a difficult place to exist in every day for a couple of months - and he had to do that.
I think he dredged up a lot of past experiences in terms of heartbreak and heartache, and so it was actually quite emotional for him. It was amazing to watch someone who can be in one breath so dynamic and extroverted and insane to [go to] these incredibly intimate, amazing moments. After seeing the movie for the first time, I was so proud of him for doing what he’d done. This is by far the best thing that I’ve ever seen him do. It’s really amazing, and a true indication of what he’s capable of doing. I can’t wait for people to see it.
It really was wonderful to work with him and be around him, and mainly to hear stories of his past experiences. I loved hearing about him playing Andy Kaufman. That’s a fascinating story because the way that he talks about it, it’s as if he channeled him. He had a lot of interesting stories about Andy’s family and friends and how they reacted. [It’s] pretty amazing. He’s had an incredible life and some amazing experiences.
How was it to watch “The Lord of Rings” winning Oscars, knowing they didn’t nominate you guys as actors.
I really didn’t think too much of it, to be honest. I don’t think that the movies were particularly marketed for performances - individual performances. The movies were marketed as these incredible adventure stories with a great ensemble from the beginning, with “The Fellowship,” certainly, at the forefront of that. I think this last year, I think they tried to sort of turn that around a little bit and to see if they could get some nominations. I think it was just too late. They’d already sort of created this perception as to how we’re supposed to view these films and the actors in them. I think at that point it’s quite difficult to then say, “Well, you know, you should at least nominate one actor out the whole that you’ve now seen as one cohesive thing.”
But from my perspective, I see the movies as ensembles, as well. We felt like such a fellowship of actors working on them. I think it’s very difficult when I see them to single anybody [out] and I think everyone’s wonderful in the movies. And in some ways, maybe it’s because they lose themselves in the characters too much. When I see Ian McKellen as Gandalf, I see Gandalf. I think it’s difficult when you see something so a part of a fabric of the world that is a new world for you, maybe that had something to do with it. But it didn’t bother any of us, really, not to my knowledge. Certainly not me.
How do you continue to love your job without getting jaded?
Because I’m lucky enough to be a part of something like this and to be a part of something like “The Lord of the Rings.” It’s easy to be cynical and this industry is at a point right now where it’s extremely easy to be cynical. I mean, it’s very frustrating, because it’s getting harder and harder in some ways to make certain movies. The studios don’t want to take chances, much less than they’ve ever wanted to. It’s definitely hard to exist in this industry and maintain your perspective, and yet, these kinds of things come around.
This last year, actually, has been kind of amazing for film. Independent film was huge this last year. It’s the first year in quite a while actually that we’ve seen so many movies get nominated for major awards that were independent releases. It’s a really great sign for the future of cinema in some ways. But yeah, I guess I’m not jaded because I still believe that there are good films out there. And there are, and there are great directors, and there are great writers. It just takes a little bit more perseverance and a little bit more time to find it.
Elijah Wood beyond the Ring
With the humility of great actors, Elijah Wood meets us in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills without bodyguards or personal assistants, even though the doors were kept closed to deter eager fans. With fresh memories of The Lord of the Rings, he immediately lets out that famous phrase from the movie -- "One Ring to Rule Them All" -- when he realizes that I have my wedding ring hanging from my neck.
We later talked about women, new projects or different stages in his career, but to begin the interview around Oscar times, the ring theme was the only route to take.
F W: It's next to impossible to ask the first question without referring to the The Lord of the Rings and the 11 Oscars received in 2004. What was your reaction to all those awards?
Elijah Wood: The truth is, it was really beyond words. It was an incredible experience for all of us. What made it so special is that a lot of people from New Zealand that had worked with us in the movie were present. So it was quite a big group of us at the Awards. I sat there with the other three "hobbits." Ian McKellen with Liv Tyler were in front of me and Peter (Jackson), the director, was behind us. It just felt like part of the family was there to share in the experience.
FW: Was it a surprise to win so many awards at the Oscars?
EW: Yes. The huge surprise was that we had won the 11 nominations. The fact that we swept was a huge surprise. A lot of people think I am crazy for saying that, but as good as I thought our chances were of winning some of the major awards, I don't think any of us anticipated taking every single one of them and turning the Academy Awards into The Lord of the Rings show. As proud as we were or as happy as we were in the end, we all kind of felt like we somehow turned into the villains of the evening.
FW: Can you imagine the possibility of winning the 12th Oscar, in the Best Actor category, if you had been nominated?
EW: No, not really. It didn't really occur to me. We had come so far over such a long period of time that for the movie to be acknowledged that way was of the utmost importance. Certainly not in my mind was there ever any kind of regret that the actors weren't acknowledged and that I personally wasn't acknowledged (with an Oscar). I was so proud and so happy for everyone else
We all kind of shared it, we were all a part in that experience of making those movies too and also we were responsible for that film. And being asked by Peter (Jackson) to get up on stage we were able to take ownership of that award somehow in a small way, as well.
FW: How were the festivities after the Academy Awards?
EW: It was great. I spent my entire evening in terms of parties at the onering.net fan party, mainly because we had a friend of ours playing at the show, this band called World Without Sundays. I had to get there early, to introduce the band. So we left the official Governor's Ball party right away. We were able to invite our friends, and I really didn't want to leave the party to go to the other ones like Vanity Fair, because they couldn't come with us. It was the best, very surreal.
FW: You also filmed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Kate Winslet, who ironically starred in the other movie that received 11 Oscars, Titanic?
EW: That's right, yes.
FW: Did you talk about that, when you were filming and your future as a big movie star?
EW: Not really. With Kate (Winslet) we talked about her experiences making Titanic and my experiences making The Lord of the Rings and also our connection with the director, Peter Jackson, and the fact that her first movie was with him.
We certainly shared that in common as well. But not really in terms of both being a part of huge movies.
FW: How do you act towards other movie stars?
EW: We behave like colleagues, and there is no ego on the set at all. When a film works out to be a good environment, at its best, it is an environment comprised of equals, who are all there to work and make the best film they possibly can. There is sort of a family atmosphere, without any ego present, or any sense of big-time Hollywood actors.
FW: Do you notice that the offers you get are different now? Is there a before and after The Lord of the Rings?
EW: Now, for me, it is much easier to get certain roles, which is wonderful. That is one of the things that comes along with a certain level of fame or a certain level of recognizability. That's a real bonus, because it allows me to progress in what I do. I may be offered something that I wouldn't be offered before and I would have had to audition multiple times. There are more opportunities, sure.
FW: Is there any special moment that you remember from the beginning of your career?
EW: One of my earliest memories is meeting Paula Abdul on the set of my first job, which was one of her music videos. That was literally my first memory of work.
Years later, I realized that the video was directed by the director of the movie Seven and at that time I had no idea who he was. But I remember meeting Paula Abdul and being really excited. I was 8 years old and her music was cool at the time.
FW: Is it true that your mother got you started in this business, first as a model, because of your boundless energy?
EW: Yes. Essentially, my mom was an inspiration for me to become an actor because she saw it as a channel for the energy I had as a kid. She looked for a way to channel my energy, when I was young.
FW: What kind of energy? Bad behavior?
EW: No, no. Good energy, love for life and I just had a lot of energy, and a capacity to go and go and go. She just thought it would be fun for me to do commercials and then it became films. But I never would have imagined the future, because things came together little by little.
On Jan. 28, he turned 25 years old, but Wood only last December moved out of his mother Debbie's house and headed to New York with his sister Hanna, 22. That independence didn't last very long. "I was renting that apartment and in the end I never used it," Wood said. "So I went back to Los Angeles to live with my mother again." His parents divorced 10 years ago and with the success of the first version of The Lord of the Rings he also was reunited with his father, Warren Wood, who still lives in the city where Elijah was born, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
FW: What do you think would happen if someone erased your memory of The Lord of the Rings?
EW: I would be a vastly different person today had The Lord of the Rings been erased from my memory. I don't know how to describe that or how I would be different. The films and especially the experience of making those movies, and working with those people have had such an impact on me, as a human being, and living in New Zealand for that length of time as well.
So if I were robbed of that memory, there is so much experience within that, that has sort of built me as a human being.
FW: Any new tattoos?
EW: No. I would love to get another one but I don't want to get it just to get a tattoo. It always has to be something significant or special. I have yet to find a reason to get one.
FW: So you just keep the one tattoo from The Lord of the Rings?
EW: Yes. That is the only one.
FW: When you start with one, isn't it hard not to be tempted to get more on the rest of your body?
EW: It could get addictive. I know. That's why I just have one, for now.
FW: Would you mind telling those who don't know about it, how you got that tattoo for the movie?
EW: There are still some people who don't know about my tattoo? Oh my God! What rock do they live under? (Laughing)
It was kind of a special thing. It was something that we conceived, early on in the process. This idea that we would get a tattoo that would signify the experience we would go through. But there were some people who were reluctant to commit to it initially, because it was early days and we hadn't had the full breadth of the experience yet. So there was no way of knowing whether at the end of it if we would want a tattoo.
And then ultimately by the end of the movie, the idea came up again in a conversation and we all agreed. It was great, because the experience we had had was so profound. The sense of fellowship that we felt in reality was so realistic as well that it just made perfect sense to be branded for life, to remember always that experience that we had together.
FW: Do you still keep that sense of fellowship going on?
EW: Now it is slightly broken into pieces, but the connection that we all have together will last forever. Even though we may not be able to see each other every year, I think that bond will never die.
FW: Do people react different now when they see you in the street?
EW: People are driving by in their cars and rolling their windows down and yelling out "Congratulations." It happens a lot. It's hilarious.
FW: And women, how do they react?
EW: I don't think there is much difference in that sense. Probably more girls have come up to me than in the past but because they are fans or from having seen me in some movie
It isn't all that interesting.
FW: But is it easy to get girls being a movie star?
EW: Sure, if I want that kind of girl (He laughs).
FW: But don't they interest you?
EW: No (He laughs even harder). I always find that kind of funny when people think, "It would be so much easier to get girls when I am famous." I say, "Well, yes, but they are going to be with you because you are famous. So what's the point?" It's the same as if you weren't famous at all, but now you've just got girls who just want to sleep with you because you are famous. It can be fun, granted. But in terms of any kind of profound addition to your life ... You certainly aren't going to find it with fame.
FW: So if a woman wants to seduce you, she has to ignore your career?
EW: Probably, yes. She doesn't have to ignore my career but people reveal themselves very quickly. And those that are interested because of the fact that I am an actor, it is very obvious right away. And those who know it, talk about it but don't really care, then there is something behind that.
FW: Is that the reason why famous actors end up going out with other famous actors?
EW: Because they understand. There is a complete logic to that. I would date an actress because first she understands the fact that I have to travel so much and that my life is consumed by this job because her life is the same. And also there's no interest in me because I am famous; she might probably experience the same thing. There's something of a mutual interest there. But that has its own complications, as well.
Elijah Wood on Two Towers
Elijah Wood spoke to CBBC Newsround's Lizo Mzimba about the pressure of being the main character in the Rings films.
Was it different playing Frodo in this film?
It was a lot more fun actually. I got to sort of begin to destroy Frodo over a period of time, and sort of etch away at his soul which was very difficult and quite a lot of fun to play.
And in terms of trying to manifest what the Rings is doing to them over a period of time. The Rings do definitely get a lot darker in this movie.
How difficult is it filming scenes out of sequence?
That proved to be difficult at times. I remember there was actually a period of time where we were filming primarily film one. And then we jumped to film three out of nowhere.
I hadn't really started to prepare for film three and Frodo's vastly different there. So that kind of freaked me out and took a couple of hours for us to figure it all out but I think we managed to make it work OK.
Can you give us any hints for the third film? What should fans be excited about?
The third movie's my favourite film. So I think if you're excited about any of these movies be excited mostly for the third film. It's pretty emotional and very dark.
For Frodo things get vastly worse. He becomes merely a shadow of himself by the end of the process. So you have a lot to look forward to, it's going to be very interesting. All the characters sort of descend, it's getting very scary.
Our viewers say Orlando is the sexiest - do you agree?
Of course! That is understandable, I've already come to terms with this [Elijah jokes]. I'm a hobbit, I'm fine with not being sexy. Really. It's OK.
So you're not jealous?
Really, it's fine. [joking]
Do you feel a lot of pressure being the central character in this huge epic?
No I don't really. I feel like in the process of making the movies it really felt like a combined effort on all people's parts.
It's an ensemble cast so I never felt like he pressure was on me. I think it was diffused throughout the members of the Fellowship.
What's it like working with Peter Jackson? How does he keep his vision?
God only knows - I wish I knew. The guy directed almost four units a day over the period of 16 months.
He'll have been working on these movies for seven years by the end - I don't know how he's done it. But he's amazing to work with.
Elijah Wood Hopes To Avoid Mark Hamill's Fate
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood is keen to avoid the fate that befell Mark Hamill after the acclaim given to the original Star Wars trilogy. Elijah, 22, relates to the predicament of the Luke Skywalker actor - who never managed to replicate the success of the sci-fi character - but is determined to keep his career on the up. He says, "There are a lot of factors why Mark Hamill got stuck in the Luke Skywalker zone, partially because of how massive that whole thing became and there hadn't quite been anything like it. Also because nobody knew who he was before. They were only able to associate him with that role." And Elijah hopes selecting interesting roles will help him avoid being typecast as hobbit Frodo. He says, "That's the main thing, continue to work and be perceived in a different light with different characters."
100,000 Turn Out for 'Lord of the Rings' Premiere
The world premiere of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King has brought an amazing 100,000 fans to the streets of Wellington, New Zealand. The giant parade was also attended by the film's Kiwi director Peter Jackson, and the stars of the final installment of the fantasy series such as Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood. Such was the size of today's crowd, that it was the equivalent to a quarter of the capital city's population. Jackson said, "I'm feeling incredibly humbled by this wonderful reception. I'm incredibly proud of what's happening, but it's just a personal thing. You can only do what you can do. You do the very best job you can. I don't think I have any regrets." The epic movies were filmed back-to-back in New Zealand.
Elijah's Record Label Dreams
Movie star Elijah Wood is planning to branch out into music in a big way - by setting up his own record label. The Lord Of The Rings star has recently moved from Los Angeles to New York, and the music scene in the big apple has inspired him to do something for emerging bands. And now he's planning to sink his movie money into a new label. He says, "I want to start a record label, and find bands and release records. I've thought seriously about that. I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of people that I respect, in the music industry, that I feel will be a good guide for me to get started. I've got a good base. I don't know when I'll start it, but it is something that I will start, at some point." And one artist he'd love to have on his roster is his Lord of The Rings castmate Viggo Mortensen. He adds, "I actually just recorded on a record of his - Dom Monaghan, Billy Boyd and I went into the studio and played music on Viggo's new album. It's amazing."
'Lord of the Rings' Stars Tussle Over Trinket
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood is fuming after discovering he's not the only cast-member with the fabled gold band from the sci-fi trilogy. Wood, who was given one of the bands used in the film, was furious when he discovered co-star Andy Serkis was also presented a replica ring by director Peter Jackson after reshooting some crucial scenes for the final film Return Of The King this year. And now, in a move which mirrors the dramatic tussle between Wood's character Frodo and Serkis' creepy Gollum in second installment The Two Towers, the pair are planning to fight over the second trinket. Co-star Dominic Monaghan says, "They gave Elijah the ring at the end of the first film and then they gave Andy Serkis the ring at the end of refilming this year and Elijah was really, really annoyed. Gollum and Frodo got one each - they have to fight for it." Wood, Monaghan and fellow Hobbits Sean Astin and Billy Boyd also got to keep their fake feet from the three films.
Hobbits Are Not Gay Lovers Says Wood
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has hit out at claims Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee have a gay relationship in the JRR Tolkien novel - he thinks they are just good friends. But the actor - who is a huge fan of Tolkien's epic adventure - admits he sees how the mistake could be made. Wood says, "They have a very close relationship that sort of transcends friends. Those feelings are probably there and they probably exist. I wouldn't say that it has anything to do with homosexuality but it is certainly one possible interpretation of it. I don't think Frodo or Sam, in the way they are portrayed, either confirm or deny it. But I personally don't really see it from that perspective. I just see them as being completely tied to each other in a very personal and emotional way. Sam sort of tends the earth and comes from a very servile background, and he kind of dotes on Frodo, who helps and guides Sam. They compliment each other in terms of where they come from. That's how I see it anyway."
Wood Denies Potente Romance
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has finally cleared up the romantic mystery around his relationship with Bourne Identity star Franka Potente - it's purely professional. Despite reports the pair were dating, and Potente's refusal to comment either way, Wood has stated that he regard only for the German's thespian abilities. He says, "I admire her as an actress but nothing more."
Elijah Yearning To Wed?
Young Hollywood star Elijah Wood is so smitten with his new girlfriend Franka Potente, he's planning to pop the question. The Lord Of The Rings actor, 21, dumped teen popstar Mandy Moore, 18, for older woman Franka, 27, after meeting her on the set of their new movie, Try Seventeen. According to pals of the young heartthrob, Elijah has confided he's found his soulmate and wants to marry her after only two months together. But Elijah may not get the chance to make a move if his concerned friends manage to change his mind. Many believe it's too fast and are trying to talk him out of it.
Down-to-Earth Wood Reminded Of Fame
Actor Elijah Wood had an embarrassing encounter with an obsessed fan - right in the middle of telling a friend about his down-to-earth lifestyle. The Lord Of The Rings star was busy telling his pal how he was relieved the excesses of fame had not found him when an example of his celebrity interrupted. He laughs, "I was having a conversation with someone in Los Angeles about how glad I was not to be so famous that it changed my life, when, all of a sudden, a girl jumped on me and started trying to kiss me on the lips."
Elijah Wood Reconciles With Father After Six Years
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has reconciled with his estranged father - because of his new movie's massive success. Elijah, 20, has not seen dad Warren following his parents' divorce six years ago, but phoned him before the New Year, high on his new found fame from the hit fantasy film. Salesman Warren, 50, who still lives in the family home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, reveals, "Elijah called me from his home in Los Angeles a couple of days after Christmas and we had our first heart to heart talk in years. We spoke about the family and Elijah's film and I told him how proud I was of what he had achieved. It was great to hear his voice again after all that time. It would be so wonderful to spend time with my boy again - but we still have a lot to work on regarding our relationship. Now, at least, I feel we have a new beginning, and it's more than I could have hoped for at this point. I feel like a door has been opened. I hope we can move forward and become close again."
Elijah's Vegas Birthday Celebration
Elijah Wood is about to turn 21 - and he's celebrating with a huge Las Vegas blow out weekend. The Lord Of The Rings star is legally allowed to drink and gamble when he hits 21 this month and he and his male buddies are planning to celebrate in style. He explains, "I'm going to Vegas with a bunch of my guy friends and my brother's got a birthday very close to mine so we're going to go there. It's going to be like Ocean's Eleven, we're all going to wear suits. I'm going to gamble. My brother got me a casino game on the computer for Christmas so I'm going to practice a little bit."
Elijah Wood Picks Up British Swearwords
Elijah Wood has being picking up bad habits from the mostly-British cast of The Fellowship Of The Ring. Wood, who plays hobbit Frodo Baggins, has fallen in love with the commonly used English swearword, 'c*nt'. He says, "I used to hate that word, it sounded so dirty, but it became almost a silly British phrase that, when used correctly, is brilliant, especially with the accent." And it's not the only word Wood has taken to using in everyday speech since spending 18 months filming the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He says, "B*ll*cks, F*ckin' 'ell. F*ckin' too right. Top! Top one! Top one mate! Bloody 'ell, I still say a lot. Knackered. Minger. It mings. And if you're really drunk, you're monged? F*ckin' monged. It sounds exactly what it feels like."
Wood Felt The Pressure Of Tolkien Fans
Stepping into the hairy feet of hobbit Frodo Baggins put terrible pressure on the young shoulders of Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood. The 20-year-old was aware that millions of fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy classic would be watching his every move in the movie, each with their own view of how the part should be played. He says, "The pressure was immense. I don't think I've ever had to work so hard physically. But Frodo came with baggage - he has been set in stone for people who've read the books. People have their own interpretations as to what he is, and there was pressure to make sure my Frodo was what they had envisioned." Wood spent 18 months in New Zealand working up to six days a week for long hours on Peter Jackson's movie trilogy, the first of which will be released later this month. He adds, "The anxiety hit me when I first went to New Zealand - I'd never had to worry about preconceived notions of a character before."
Wood Gets Lost In Rings
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood would get so involved in filming that he would completely lose himself in the role. The twenty-year-old plays Frodo Baggins in the long-awaited first part of the movie trilogy, The Fellowship Of The Ring. He says, "Towards the middle of filming, there would be weeks when you'd literally lose yourself in it; you'd forget what you were doing. It's so easy to lose perspective when you get up at five in the morning and get home at seven in the evening, go to sleep, then do it all over again the next day. You literally forget how incredible these films could be, how magical the experience is, you forget about the story. That was probably the most difficult part of making the movies: to sustain your energy and passion over that length of time." But making the movie was nevertheless a truly magical experience for Wood. He says, "As a result, I've made some of the best friends I've ever had and garnered some of the most amazing life experiences. I can't imagine I'll ever have an experience like it again."