He is the poster boy of JRR Tolkien fansites – star of the blockbuster Lord of the Rings movies and set for a return to playing Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit trilogy.
Ever since Elijah Wood’s appearance in the Rings prequel was announced, fans have been speculating about his involvement – given that his character was not born when the adventures of Bilbo Baggins unfolded, it was not immediately clear how or where he would slot into the plot.
“It’s a fast-forward,” Wood explains to RadioTimes.com. “Frodo isn’t alive during the time of The Hobbit, but I did some scenes with Ian Holm reprising his role as the older Bilbo and it’ll exist as a book-end to the story.”
But it must have been strange setting foot on a set with so many similar cast and crew? “It was a treat to get the chance to go back and re-visit old friends. It felt like stepping back in time – so many of the crew are the same and so many of the actors have reprised their roles, so it was a gift to get a chance to revisit that time in my life and say hello to everyone again.”
Having played the leading man in Peter Jackson’s first foray into Tolkien’s oeuvre, Wood would be forgiven for envying Sherlock’s Martin Freeman who plays central character Bilbo Baggins (left) in the upcoming trilogy, but he he has no intention of raining on his parade…
“I don’t know that I would be interested in reprising the role of Frodo in a major way. My appearance was exactly as it should have been – it was a nice nod to what we’ve done and a beautiful way for me to revisit without the full responsibility of carrying that character and the magnitude of the project.”
That weight rests on the shoulders of Freeman this time around – what does his predecessor think of the British actor’s casting?
“I think he’s wonderful! I remember when I initially heard he was being considered I was so thrilled because I’m a real fan of his work and he seems to me so perfectly cast. He’s got the right amount of comic sensibility which Bilbo has. He’s a very eccentric, somewhat comedic character – especially in the younger version – and Martin looks so much like a young Ian Holm.
“I just thought he was perfect and what I’ve seen so far of what he’s done in the film is really wonderful – I’m so pleased for him.”