One anniversary to rule them all... To celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, the latest issue of Empire gathered the nine members of the Fellowship, and asked each of them to pose nine questions to one another.
One does not simply walk into a Lord Of The Rings interview. So here, as a little Middle-earth aperitif, we can reveal one answer from each actor. For the full interviews, be sure to pick up a copy of the January issue of Empire, on sale from Thursday 24 November.
Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins)
What surprised you most about The Lord Of The Rings?
Question set by John Rhys-Davies
How intimate it felt. I had nothing to compare it to then, but this quality has become more special over time. All of us embarked on something that had never been done before, tucked away in beautiful New Zealand, and it all felt home-grown, like the world’s largest independent film.
Ian McKellen (Gandalf The Grey)
How did your Hobbit experience differ from The Lord Of The Rings? Oh, and I’m sorry about the loud music the Hobbits often played in our shared make-up trailer. (And I miss and love you.)
Question set by Elijah Wood
So many old friends behind the camera, but I missed the old team of actors. Mind you, it was a joy to work with Martin Freeman and the dwarves. I was glad to be rid of that old stick Gandalf The White. The Grey was always my favourite. Don’t you remember when it was my turn to play a track, I asked for silence instead? Now I’m nostalgic, remembering those early mornings in the make-up trailer, six days a week.
Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee)
Where do you keep the sword you were given when you completed Lord Of The Rings?
Question set by Ian McKellen
The garage, or maybe a cupboard, or in storage with a ton of fan art. I cried heavily through my send-off. I remember being presented with my costume, including Sam’s backpack (pots, pans, sausages, elven rope, lembas bread, box of salt) and sword. But the most moving trophy was the wee dress [my daughter] Ali wore as she portrayed Elanor in the last moments of Return Of The King.
Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck)
Why haven’t we seen each other in forever?
Question set by Sean Astin
Because we are both busy, successful people with families and we live well over an hour away from each other. But you will always be in my heart, Hobbit brother. Also, you smell of vinegar.
Billy Boyd (Peregrin Took)
What is your favourite thing about our friendship?
Question set by Dominic Monaghan
So many things, my dearest Dom! I love how relaxed we are in each other’s company. And the ability for our time together to take us anywhere. We might be chatting about music, which brings us to watching a documentary about The Stone Roses — then there’s a part in it where they are eating Indian food so we pause it to go to an Indian restaurant, where we will talk through a film idea where we play sound men for The Hollies in the Himalayas or something. I like the adventures we go on, even when we’re just sitting on your sofa drinking a bottle of wine.
Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)
If you could kiss me again, would you?
Question set by Billy Boyd
I am anxiously counting the interminable minutes that pass until it happens again.
Sean Bean (Boromir)
It has been a while since you and I have seen each other — I believe the last time was at the Empire Awards a few years ago — and I miss your company. I cannot for the life of me remember whose turn it is to buy the next round. Do you?
Question set by Viggo Mortensen
I think it’s yours. Actually, I don’t remember either. I do remember sharing a bottle of whiskey with you, which you took up onto the stage when you won your well-earned award. (After your critique of Russell Crowe.) It was a fine night.
Orlando Bloom (Legolas)
As a heartthrob myself, I wondered if you had any tips to stop the signs of ageing? (Just asking for a friend.)
Question set by Sean Bean
Being a heartthrob yourself, you’ll know that there’s only one answer to tell your friend: love. When your heart throbs it keeps you younger. That’s why we’re called heartthrobs — duh.
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)
What was the last photo you took on your phone?
Question set by Orlando Bloom
Mock me, would you, you piss-taking, pointy-eared devil! He knows, gentle readers, that I still use the phone I had in New Zealand in 1999, a Nokia 6310i, which has no camera! Actually I have 11 of them, six working at any given time. Tri-band, almost unbreakable, work anywhere in the world. Downside? Battery life. I’m having to charge mine every nine days now.
This is an abridged version of a larger interview which appeared in Empire, issue #334, on sale from Thursday 24 November. Find out what else is in the issue here.