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Elijah Wood wanted to play Frodo Baggins so badly, he crafted an elaborate (VHS) audition tape for Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.
Reviewing his career for a GQ retrospective published Wednesday, Wood said that he was well aware he would have to make a splash if he had any shot at playing the iconic J. R. R. Tolkien character on the big screen.
Since The Fellowship of the Ring was so sensitive, the script was not sent to actors. Those who wanted to audition had to come read it in the casting office, which Wood said he did.
“Driving home, I was so immersed in the world,” Wood said of the impact the script had on him. The actor would have to do something if he was going to get Jackson’s attention, so he made an audition tape, which he noted was not common at the time. But this was not just any cold reading.
“I went to a vocal coach for the dialect and enlisted some friends, including George Huang, who is a writer and filmmaker,” he said. “We went out to the woods in Griffith Park and shot two of the audition sequences there and one at my house.”
The group cut the scenes together at the Miramax office and Wood took the VHS tape to the casting office, which sent it to Jackson, the actor recalled.
“I got a call from Peter himself, which was amazing, totally mindblowing,” Wood said.
The rest is history.
Watch the full Wood retrospective below.
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