The epic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy seems so set in stone these days, it’s hard to imagine a time when the movies were still mixing and making the cast they ended up with.
On Tuesday’s (March 22) episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Jake Gyllenhaal talked about his audition for the part of Frodo way back when, joking that Peter Jackson told him he was the worst actor he’d ever seen. Naturally, he didn’t get the part.
That got us thinking … who else was up for a role in “Lord of the Rings” but never made the cut?
Apparently, he stumbled through a video conference call with Peter Jackson, which ended up killing his chances of playing Frodo. “Literally, Peter Jackson was like [facepalm]. You are the worst actor that I have ever seen. Did anyone tell you you’re supposed to have an accent?”
Nicolas Cage was offered the role of Aragorn (wait, what?!), but he wasn’t too keen on spending over a year in New Zealand to film the movie, so he turned it down. “I had family obligations, so I’m glad I stayed and I had those experiences with my family,” he told MTV.
Thurman actually auditioned for and was cast as Arwen, but when she realized she was pregnant, she had to drop out of the project. In an interview with MTV, Thurman said, “Oh, I truly wish I could’ve been able to take that plunge, and maybe I should have, but I just couldn’t at the time.”
In an interview with Huffington Post, Dominic Monaghan, who ended up playing Pippin, reported that he was at a casting office in London when David Bowie strolled in to audition. “As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for.”
Winslet was another near miss, as Peter Jackson apparently offered her the role of Eowyn, which she turned down because of the time commitment. That’s okay, she and Nicolas Cage aren’t exactly hurting for the missed opportunity.
We wonder if the “Sean Bean always dies” meme would have been such a hit if his role of Boromir had actually gone to Liam Neeson all those years ago? After reading the script, Neeson decided to pass on the project, depriving us all of watching his “very particular set of skills” put to use against orcs.