Elijah Wood on why The Hobbit films couldn’t match Lord of the Rings success

"I think The Lord of the Rings holds perhaps a deeper place in people’s hearts than The Hobbit book does"

Still, while he loves The Lord of the Rings movies, his passions are as far away from blockbuster filmmaking as possible. His other great love is music – he DJs under the name Wooden Wisdom with his friend Zach Cowie (he was due to deliver a set in London during his flying visit and always visits our capital’s record stores which he rates as among the best in the world).

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Wood is also keen to develop medium-sized films for his own independent production company Spectrevision which he runs with directors Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller.

“It feels like an exciting time for independent cinema,” he says. “It feels like the Wild West again. It feels like equal opportunity. It’s still hard to get movies made.

“The only place that’s not terribly exciting are the studios in terms of their output. They are not really taking risks at the moment and I would love to see that again. I would love to see studios taking a chunk of their money that they are putting towards these giant tentpoles and making, I don’t know, twelve to 20 million dollar movies again where we could take some risks and give filmmakers a chance. There’s a very untapped stream of films that are not giant tentpoles but are not independent films, that are sort of in between and Hollywood used to make those movies but they are not really making those movies any more.

“There are shareholders to please, it’s a big business. Part of why people are moving to TV is certainly not for financial reasons. It’s where stories are being told which is an attractive thing for writers and actors.”

Does he feel part of Hollywood?

“No,” he laughs, adding a polite “f*** knows” when I ask if he really is “the nicest man in Hollywood” as one newspaper once described him.

“I have always kept a pretty healthy separation between my work in my film and my life outside of it. I have a house in Austin (Texas) I go to a lot. Many of my friends are not in the film industry and I feel like it’s healthy. It’s not totally by choice. It is perhaps people I connect with.”

Still, he has unfulfilled movie-making ambitions – as a director.

“I would love to do that. As much experience as I have had making films and as much as I understand that process, it’s one thing understanding it, it’s another thing entirely being the person to articulate that. But I also think half of directing is hiring an incredible team to help articulate that vision. It’s a collaborative effort as much as it is someone’s singular vision.

“I haven’t made that a focus yet. Once I do that I feel I will be actively looking for something.

“I am the happiest I have ever been because massive parts of myself are being expressed.”

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Over the Garden Wall launches on April 6 at 6pm on Cartoon Network