For the first time in Los Angeles Comic Con history, Fellowship members Elijah Wood and Sean Astin reunited this past weekend for a Q and A panel. The two Hobbits talked animation, behind the scenes on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and shared their thoughts on Amazon Studios’ The Rings of Power.
“It’s exactly the same, but also very different,” Wood responded when asked about his work as a voice actor in animated projects. Elijah Wood has lent his voice to several animated movies and shows such as 9, Happy Feet, and Over the Garden Wall. “It’s often very lonely and solitary.” He explained how lending your voice to a character is much harder than acting since there were no actors, sets, or props to play off of. Astin how a whole different outlook on working in animation. “I can play a stick, I can play a rock, I can play this, I can play that… the opportunities are endless!” Sean Astin has starred in animated works such as TMNT, Captain Underpants, Special Agent Oso, as well as voicing Billy Batson/Shazam in several DC projects. He finds himself really enthusiastic about building out a character in animation and working with all areas of the animated projects to better his performances.
During the fan portion of the Q/A, Elijah revealed that the four Hobbits have a group chat where they share their Wordle scores, NYT Mini Crossword scores as well as Lord of the Rings memes. On the topic of memes and the internet presence of Lord of the Rings, Astin was reminded of an interesting discovery on set of one of the Rings films.
“Sir Ian McKellan, legendary Shakespearian, beloved thespian,” Astin recalled, “…telling us that we had to come over to the computer, because he had something to show us.” Apparently the Gandalf actor had found some seemingly erotic fan fiction about Frodo and Sam. “We get asked all the time about the true nature of Frodo and Sam’s relationship.” Sean Astin followed up with. “And let’s just say it’s exactly what you think it is.” A win for all those who ship Frodo and Samwise together.
This lead into some more stories about the 4 years spent together filming the Rings trilogy. Elijah Wood remembered when their co-stars Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan were sheltered in a house alone together waiting for rainy weather to film a scene. Weeks started to go by with no bad weather so the two Hobbits had “gone mad” as Astin put it. In the weeks the two were stuck in the one location, the actors were going stir crazy, smoking weed and filming deranged comedy sketches and other videos on an old camcorder. Unfortunately the videos are lost and no one knows where they’ve ended up. Like the One Ring, I hope that this lost media will one day be found.
Of course fans wanted to know the two Hobbits’ thoughts on the recently released Amazon series The Rings of Power. Elijah Wood first wanted to express his love for the cast and further delivered the message that “You Are All Welcome Here” when it came to all the many races and identities featured in the latest series. The strong support from Master Frodo was met with cheers from the audience. Sean Astin admired the shows ability to perfectly capture the aesthetic that Director Peter Jackson had established in his films. He also wanted to respond to those who were against the new additions to the overall legend of the Rings. The Samwise Gamgee actor recalled how he had been asked at cons in previous years if he thought they would ever remake the original films to which he would answer, “Yeah of course they’ll remake it and I bet they will be awesome!” “I’m a real booster [for the show].” Astin said while praising the show.
The two Hobbits then had a small tease for the fans in attendance. For the first time in years, all four Hobbit actors had met up and decided to create their own Lord of the Rings merchandise. Coming real soon, a Hobbits Tour T-Shirt designed by Elijah, Sean, Billy and Dom will be available for purchase. Not much else was revealed about the shirt since details are still really hush hush, but Elijah Wood was very excited and says he can’t wait to reveal the final product to the fans.
Even when I was just a young kid I had always been fascinated in film and the work that goes into them. I love animation, blockbuster hits, indie films and everything in between. Some day I’ll have the privilege of being apart of the filmmaking process.