The Fellowship of the Ring - Production Notes

Last Update: 08 December 2001


Character: Frodo Baggins
Culture: Hobbit
Description: An adventurous Hobbit who undertakes the quest to destroy the One Ring
Elijah Wood has been widely regarded as one of the most gifted actors of his generation. After coming to attention in Paradise, he went on to star in Radio Flyer, Forever Young, Huck Finn, The Good Son, North, The War and Flipper. He also appeared in Internal Affairs, Avalon and Back to the Future Part 2.
Most recently, Wood was seen in James Toback's Black and White, Robert Rodriguez's The Faculty, Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, the sci-fi thriller Deep Impact and the crime comedy Chain of Fools. He also lent his voice to the animated film The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina.

Wood was named 1994's Young Star of the Year by NATO/ShowEast following his performance in The War.

Character: Gandalf
Culture: Wizard
Description: A very powerful wizard who faces his greatest test in destroying the One Ring
Sir Ian McKellen has been thrilling audiences for 40 years on both stage and screen, and has won more than 40 major international acting awards. Born in Burnley, England, he most recently starred as the super-heroic Magneto in the hugely successful screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics' classic X-Men. His other recent films include Gods and Monsters (Academy Award nomination for Best Actor), Apt Pupil and Richard III (co-screenplay writer and executive producer). The protean McKellen's memorable screen performances include Six Degrees of Separation, Cold Comfort Farm, Restoration, Swept from the Sea, The Keep, Bent, Scandal and many more.

McKellen has also starred in the telefilms "Rasputin" (Emmy for Best Supporting Actor), "And the Band Played On" (Cable Ace Award), "Walter" (Royal Television Society's "Performer of the Year") and "David Copperfield" for BBC TV. His many stage performances are legendary. He has acted in and produced classical and new plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre in London and on tour. His solo shows "Acting Shakespeare" and "A Knight Out" have been acclaimed throughout the world.

On Broadway, he played Salieri in "Amadeus" (1981 Tony Award for Best Actor). The 2001 Broadway season opened with McKellen as Edgar in Strindberg's "Dance of Death." Complete credits are available on

Character: Arwen
Culture: Elf
Description: The Elf princess who falls in love with a man, Aragorn
Liv Tyler made an auspicious film debut with the leading role in Silent Fall, directed by Bruce Beresford. After another lead in Empire Records, Tyler portrayed a waitress in a local diner in Heavy, a favorite at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Tyler went on to shine in Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty, Inventing The Abbotts, Armageddon and Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune. She recently reunited with Altman to star in the critically acclaimed Dr. T and the Women with Richard Gere.

Tyler's other recent work includes Onegin co-starring Ralph Fiennes, Plunkett & Macleane and One Night at McCool's opposite Matt Dillon.

Character: Aragorn, aka Strider
Culture: Human
Description: A brave warrior who joins and defends the Fellowship
Since his screen debut as a young Amish Farmer in Peter Weir's Witness, Viggo Mortensen's career has been marked by a steady string of well-rounded performances. Critics have continually recognized his work in over thirty movies, including such diverse projects as Jane Campion's Portrait of a Lady, Sean Penn's Indian Runner, Brian DePalma's Carlito's Way, Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane, Tony Scott's Crimson Tide, Andrew Davis' Perfect Murder, Ray Loriga's La Pistola de mi Hermano, and Tony Goldwyn's A Walk on the Moon.

Born in New York to a Danish father and an American mother, Mortensen spent the early part of his childhood in Manhattan. His family traveled a great deal and he spent several years living in Venezuela, Argentina, and Denmark. He began acting in New York, studying with Warren Robertson. He appeared in several plays and movies, and eventually moved to Los Angeles, where his performance in "Bent" at the Coast Playhouse earned him a Drama-logue Critic's Award. Mortensen is also an accomplished poet, photographer, and painter. He is currently working on his third book of poetry, and will showing new photographs and paintings in 2001/2002 at Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as at the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art in Athens.

Character: Sam or Samwise Gamgee
Culture: Hobbit
Description: An ordinary Hobbit who becomes the most extraordinary and loyal of Frodo's friends
Sean Astin made his feature film debut in The Goonies and soon had a starring role in the critically acclaimed Rudy. Other film credits include Bulworth, Courage Under Fire, Memphis Belle, Encino Man, Like Father Like Son, Where the Day Takes You, Staying Together, War of the Roses and Safe Passage. Astin received Best Actor honors for his performance in Low Life at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival. Astin has also been seen in the indie releases Deterrence, Kimberly, The Last Producer and Boy Meets Girl. He made his professional debut with his mother, Patty Duke, in the television After School Special "Please Don't Hit Me Mom."

A promising director, Astin garnered an Academy Award nomination for his short film Kangaroo Court, which he also co-produced with his wife, Christine. A Directors Guild of America member, Astin also directed an episode of the HBO anthology series "Perversions of Science."

Astin has earned a degree in History/American Literature and Culture from UCLA.

Character: Galadriel
Culture: Elf
Description: An Elf Queen of power and wisdom who assists the Fellowship
Since graduating from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Blanchett has worked extensively in the theater: with Company B, a loose ensemble of actors including Geoffrey Rush, Gillian Jones and Richard Roxburgh based at Belvoir St. under the direction of Neil Armfield. Her roles included Miranda ("The Tempest"), Ophelia ("Hamlet" -for which she was nominated for a Green Room Award), Nina ("The Seagull") and Rose ("The Blind Giant is Dancing").

For the Sydney Theater Company (STC) she appeared in Caryl Churchill's "Top Girls," David Mamet's "Oleanna" (awarded The Sydney Theater Critics award for Best Actress), Michael Gow's "Sweet Phoebe" (also for the Croyden Wearhouse, London) and Timothy Dalys "Kafka Dances" (also for The Griffin Theatre Company) for which she received the Critics Circle award for best newcomer.

For the Almeida Theatre in 1999, Blanchett played Susan Traheren in David Hare's "Plenty" on London's West End.

Her television credits include lead roles in "Bordertown" and "Heartland," both for the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Her film roles include Susan Macarthy in Bruce Beresford's Paradise Road, Lizzie in Thank God He Met Lizzie, an anti-romantic comedy directed by Cherie Nowlan for which she was awarded both the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and the Sydney Film Critics awards for Best Supporting Actress, and Lucinda in Oscar and Lucinda opposite Ralph Fiennes and directed by Gillian Armstrong, a role that earned her an AFI nomination for Best Actress.

In 1998, Blanchett portrayed Queen Elizabeth I in the critically acclaimed Elizabeth, directed by Shekhar Kapur, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Leading Role as well as Best Actress Awards from The Chicago Film Critics Association, The London Film Critics Association, On-line Film Critics, Variety Critics and UK Empire Award. She also received a Best Actress nomination from the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts, & Sciences.

In 1999, Blanchett appeared in Pushing Tin with John Cusack, a black-comedy about air traffic controllers directed by Mike Newell, An Ideal Husband directed by Oliver Parker and The Talented Mr. Ripley directed by Anthony Mingella for which she received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She most recently starred in The Gift, directed by Sam Raimi; Bandits with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, directed by Barry Levinson; and Sally Potter's The Man Who Cried, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Blanchett will next be seen in the title role of Charlotte Gray, directed by Gillian Armstrong and based on Sebastian Faulks' best-selling novel. Other upcoming films include Heaven, opposite Giovanni Ribisi and directed by Tom Tykwer, and The Shipping News, co-starring Kevin Spacey and directed by Lasse Hallstrom, which is based on the 1994 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel by Annie Proulx.

In early 2002, Blanchett will begin production on Chasing the Dragon: The Veronica Guerin Story. Joel Schumacher will direct the fact-based tale of the Irish journalist who was slain in her homeland in 1996 by drug dealers.

Character: Gimli
Culture: Dwarf
Description: A courageous Dwarf with great strength and sense of justice
John Rhys-Davies began acting in Shakespeare plays at the age of thirteen at Truro School in Cornwall, England. By the time he had graduated from the then new University of East Anglia, where he founded the University Dramatic Society and starred at the acclaimed Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich, he had created an impressive amateur resume. He taught for a year before spending two years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), graduating in 1969. He then worked in repertory theatres throughout Britain and at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Rhys-Davies made his feature film debut in Don Siegel's The Black Windmill, starring Michael Caine, where he was blown up before the title sequence. His eighty plus film credits include Victor/Victoria, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Living Daylights and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. For television, he was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Rodrigues in "Shogun," starred as Professor Arturo in "Sliders," and is remembered for performances in "I, Claudius" and "The Naked Civil Servant." He would like to spend more time piloting planes, playing with old cars and writing.

Character: Pippin or Peregrin Took
Culture: Hobbit
Description: A fun-loving Hobbit and member of the Fellowship
Billy Boyd, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, began his acting career in the Scottish television series "Taggart." He went on to amass UK television credits including "Coming Soon" and "Chapter and Verse." Boyd made his feature film debut in An Urban Ghost Story, followed by Julie and the Cadillacs and a film short entitled Soldiers Leap.

On the stage, Boyd has performed in various UK productions including "The Speculator," "An Experienced Woman Gives Advice," "Therese Racquin," "Britannia Rules," "Kill The Old, Torture Their Young," "The Chic Nerds," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Merchant of Venice," "Trainspotting" (Tour), "Merlin the Magnificent" and "The Slab Boys." Most recently, Boyd starred in the Traverse production of "The Ballad of Crazy Paola," a new play by Anne Sierens.

Boyd is also a skilled singer and musician who plays the bass, drums and guitar.

Character: Merry or Meriadoc Brandybuck
Culture: Hobbit
Description: An adventurous young Hobbit who joins Frodo's quest
Dominic Monaghan, who will be introduced to international film audiences in The Fellowship of the Ring, is best known for the British television drama "Hetty Wainthrop Investigates." His other television credits include "This is Personal -The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper," and a leading role in "Monsignoir Renard," a new series starring John Thaw. Monaghan's film debut was in Boomber with Rutger Hauer and Martin Shaw. On the stage, Monaghan has performed in the U.K. productions of "The Resurrectionists," "Whale" and "Annie and Fanny from Bolton to Rome."

Character: Legolas
Culture: Elf
Description: Lethal with knife and bow, Legolas represents the Elves in the Fellowship
Orlando Bloom, who makes his major feature film debut in The Fellowship of the Ring, graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. During his time at Guildhall, Bloom performed in the productions "Little Me," "A Month in the City," "Peer Gynt," "Mephisto," "Twelfth Night," "Trojan Women," "The Seagull," "Three Sisters," "Recruiting Officer," "Antigone," "Uncle Vanya," "A Night Out" and "Mystery Plays."

Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent. At 16, he moved to London where he joined the National Youth Theatre for two seasons and then gained a scholarship to train with the British American Drama Academy. On completion of his scholarship, Bloom played the lead in "A Walk in the Vienna Woods." Bloom's screen debut was in the feature film Wilde. He was then accepted to Guildhall and chose to put his screen career on hold for the opportunity to further his education. After graduating from Guildhall, Bloom performed in the television series "Midsomer Murders."

Bloom will next be seen in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down.

Character: Saruman
Culture: Wizard
Description: Once the head of the Council of the Wise, Saruman has succumbed to the lure of power and evil of Sauron

Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, born in Belgravia, London, entered the film industry in 1947 and was for a time under contract to the Rank Organisation. He has appeared in numerous theatre and operatic concert performances, television, and has recorded radio world-wide. Lee has filmed in English, Russian, Italian, French, German, and Spanish. He has appeared in over 250 films and television productions, among which the best known are A Tale of Two Cities, Dracula, The Wicker Man, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Three and The Four Musketeers, The Man with the Golden Gun, 1941, Airport 77, Gremlins II, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Jinnah and the BBC's production of "Gormenghast." He will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode 2.

The directors for whom he has worked include John Huston, Raoul Walsh, Joseph Losey, George Marshall, Orson Welles, Nicholas Ray, Michael Powell, Edward Molinaro, Jerome Savary, Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis, Tim Burton, and George Lucas. He has also appeared as host of "Saturday Night Live" in 1978, the third highest-rated show of the series.

Lee is the only actor who has portrayed Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft, and he executed both King Charles, the First of England and King Louis the Sixteenth of France. He is an accomplished screen sword fighter, and an honorary member of three stuntmen's unions.

Lee is listed in the Guiness Book of Movie Facts & Feats as being the international star with the most screen credits, numbering nearly 300 film and television productions, and was recently awarded the London Film Critics Dilys Powell 94 award for his work as an actor and for his services to the film industry. He has also received honors from France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Belguim and Spain for his contributions to world cinema. He is a Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the world's oldest order, and was also made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen's birthday honors in June 2001 for his services to drama. He has also recorded opera and popular songs on CD, including the most recent, "The King and I."

Character: Elrond
Culture: Elf
Description: Born of a human father and Elf mother, Elrond is the father of Arwen
Hugo Weaving's many film credits include The Matrix, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Interview, Bedrooms and Hallways, Exile, Strange Planet and Proof. His performance in The Interview earned him an Australian Film Institute Award (AFI) and a World Film Festival Award (Montreal) for Best Actor. Weaving also received the AFI for The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Proof.

For television, Weaving has appeared in "Halifax 3," "The Bite, Lust," "Bangkok Hilton," "Dirtwater Dynasty" and the mini series "The Custodian," among others. A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Weaving has performed in numerous stage productions including many for the Sydney Theatre Company.


Character: Boromir
Culture: Human
Description: Boromir joins the Fellowship, despite deep misgivings about destroying the One Ring
Sean Bean has dazzled audiences in such films as Essex Boys, Ronin, Anna Karenina, GoldenEye, When Saturday Comes, Black Beauty, Patriot Games, Caravaggio, Lorna Doone, The Field, Stormy Monday and Windprints among others. Bean was most recently seen in Gary Fleder's #1 hit movie, Don't Say a Word in which he co-starred with Michael Douglas. He will next be seen in the sci-fi thriller Equilibrium and New Line's trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Bean has just wrapped production on Tom and Thomas for director Esme Lammes.

For television, Bean has starred in numerous productions, including Carlton Production's "The Sharp Series." His other television movies include "Bravo Two Zero," "Lady Chatterley," "Clarissa," "Prince," "Tell Me That You Love Me" and many more.

Bean has appeared in numerous stage productions for The Royal Court Theatre, Glasgow Citizen Theatre, and The Royal Shakespeare Company including, "Romeo and Juliet," "Fair Maid of the West" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Character: Bilbo Baggins
Culture: Hobbit
Description: Known for his own adventures, Bilbo bequeaths the Ring to his cousin Frodo
Ian Holm has earned respect and praise from theater, television and film critics alike. He won a BAFTA Award, Cannes Film Festival award and an Oscar nomination for his performance in Chariots of Fire. Some of his memorable film performances include Another Woman, Hamlet, Frankenstein, Henry V, Naked Lunch, eXistenZ, and The Madness of King George.

Holm has also appeared in Greystoke, Kafka, Time Bandits, Brazil, Alien, Dance with a Stranger and Dreamchild. More recent films include Big Night, Joe Gould's Secret, Night Falls on Manhattan, The Fifth Element, A Life Less Ordinary, Bless The Child, Beautiful Joe and the acclaimed lead in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. Holm also starred in the television movie "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" alongside Dame Judi Dench, Leslie Caron and Olympia Dukakis. He was most recently seen in the Hughes Brothers' horror-thriller From Hell with Johnny Depp and will next be seen in The Emperor's New Clothes.

Appearing in numerous productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Holm has earned the Evening Standard Award (Best Actor) for "Henry V" and "The Homecoming," the latter for which he also won a Tony Award (Best Supporting Actor) for the Broadway production. He won rave reviews and a Critics Circle Award for Harold Pinter's "Moonlight." His recent performance as King Lear at the National Theater won him another Critics Circle Award, an Olivier Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award (Best Actor) for the televised version of "King Lear." Holm has also appeared in dozens of prestigious films for television. In 1998 the Queen of England knighted him for his "service to drama."

Character: Gollum/Smeagol
Culture: Stoor
Description: Once a Hobbit-like creature, his proximity to the Ring has transformed him into a grotesque creature
Andy Serkis most recently appeared as the eccentric choreographer in Topsy Turvy, and as the coked up yuppie in Career Girls. He will soon be seen opposite Michael Caine in Shiner. Other film credits include leading roles in Mojo, Among Giants, Loop, Sweety Barrett, The Jolly Boys, Last Stand, as well as major roles in Stella Does Tricks, Five Seconds To Spare, The Near Room, and the forthcoming Pandemonium.

His extensive television works include a highly acclaimed performance in a recent adaptation of "Oliver Twist," and lead roles in "The Jump" and the series "Finner" along with many guest appearances in "Shooting The Past" and "Touching Evil."

Serkis has played a huge range of parts in theatres in London and across the UK. Recent critically acclaimed roles include Potts in the original cast of "Mojo" by Jez Butterworth, "King Lear," and "Hush" all for the Royal Court Theatre, "Hurlyburly" at the Old Vic and Queens Theatre, "Decadence" at the Bolon Octagon, and "Cabaret" at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.



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