Elijah Wood

February 26, 2014

Elijah Wood here. Again.

Hi guys. It's a pleasure to be back. I had so much fun last time and I'm excited to answer your questions again. I love Victoria, she's here too.

My latest movie is a thriller called Grand Piano about a young man who is a classical pianist who is playing a concert and held at gunpoint, whilst playing, and can't miss a note. It's on iTunes now and will be in theaters March 7th.

Go ahead and AMA!


I've had too much fun. And because of my delirium (I have a cold and a fever), I could probably keep doing this for another hour or so, and Victoria makes it really easy, and I've really enjoyed all of your questions. I hope you enjoyed our time together. And I would love to come back. I think this community is extraordinary and it's a wonderful way for people to connect with each other and people that they are interested in. So thank you to reddit for providing this forum for these kind of open conversations. GO INTERNET!

You did an amazing job with the LOTR trilogy and have had the privlege to work with other high caliber actor/actress(s). My questions for you:

  1. Who is your favorite by far (if you can't pick one, how about 2).
  2. How was it working on the set of Green Street Hooligans? That is one of my all-time favorite movies....I'M FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES, PRETTY BUBBLES IN THE AIR!!! UNITED!!
  3. Do you watch any football (for those of you who don't call it this, you know it as soccer) and if so who is your favorite team?

1.) That's so difficult! Because I feel like so many of the members of the cast feel like family to me, so it would feel wrong to single out one individual or two individuals. But it was really special to work with Ian Holm, who I've admired as an actor for a long time. And I absolutely fell in love with Cate Blanchette. And Ian, and Viggo, and Bernard, etc…

2) Green Street Hooligans was a lot of fun to make! It was great to spend time in East London and to entrench myself in the world of football hooliganism, which was fascinating to me, as a cultural phenomenon.

3) I don't really follow sport at all. I grew up with my family following college football and basketball and professional football and basketball, and it never really caught on for me. So I tend to pour that same energy into buying records and watching movies.

What does Sir Ian Mckellen (Gandalf) smell like?

He smells really good! He smells of a sort of masculine incense. I just…I can't put my finger on specifically what notes of the scent are there, but there's something very pleasant about the way that he smells. Incense definitely comes to mind. What an interesting question.

And Old Toby

That was great.

Elijah, Meeting you and gazing into your hypnotic eyes is first on my bucket list. I suppose this AMA is the closest I'll ever come to achieving that. So...

1) Can you elaborate on what's really going on to Ryan in Wilfed? I have my theories.

2) I once read that you drive a Mini Cooper. Is that true?

You're my favorite person.

1) Oooh. I suppose it's up for interpretation. I believe that Ryan is experiencing a form of psychosis. Hence Wilfred's manifestation. However, I think it's important to not answer those questions definitively and perhaps we'll get more definitive answers in the final season.

2) I used to.

1) Oooh. I suppose it's up for interpretation. I believe that Ryan is experiencing a form of psychosis. Hence Wilfred's manifestation. However, I think it's important to not answer those questions definitively and perhaps we'll get more definitive answers in the final season.

2) I used to.

My cooper was silver.

whats your favourite movie, (that youve not been in) and whats been youre favourite to film

I find it so difficult to pick a favorite film. And really difficult to pick a favorite of anything, be it a film or a record or a band. I've always found that really complicated because with any given art form I tend to love so much of that art form that it's difficult for me to choose. Let's say Groundhog Day in memory of Harold Ramis. It's honestly one of my favorite films and I've seen it countless times, and I think it's one of the absolute classics in comedy.

Taking LOTR out of the equation, I would say Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favorite films to have been a part of. I'm a massive fan of Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman, and to have been a part of their work together is something I'm tremendously proud to have been a part of.

Hey Elijah, first off i was wondering how much voiceover training you have recieved prior to doing voiceover work (Spyro the Dragon, Shay Volta) and if you enjoy doing voiceover work more than acting or vice versa

I've never experienced any training as it pertains to voice work. Voice work does tend to be a part of acting in film as well because oftentimes we do ADR (additional dialogue recording) to fix sound issues that occurred whilst filming. So I'm used to simply using my voice to replicate a performance. And I really do enjoy voiceover work. There's something very freeing about the experience in that it's not about any physicality, it's just about the voice. But there's also a challenge there in terms of articulating only with your voice what a character may be experiencing at any given time. But I enjoy that challenge. And speaking of doing the voice of Shay in Broken Age: that was an absolute honor for me because I grew up with Tim Schafer's video games such as The Curse of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, and Full Throttle.

Wait you voiced for Spyro?


Follow up question, any studio you would want to work for in the future? Naughty Dog? Valve?

I love Valve. Half Life is incredible. I'd love to work with Rockstar games. I'm a big fan of the GTA franchise.

What do you spread on delicious delicious toast?

I just had (and this wasn't on toast) but clotted cream and jam on a scone. Which may be one of the greatest combinations of spreadable items in life. It was on a plane from England. Clotted cream! UGHH so good.

Hi Elijah - do you pronounce a scone as 'scon' or 'skone'?

When in England, i refer to it as "scon." But when in the US, I refer to it as "skone."

Hi, do you find Frodo to be one of your biggest accomplishments? Is there any other LOTR characters you would want/think you could play?

Frodo marks one of the greatest experiences of my life in what will likely be the largest undertaking and production I will ever experience again. So in that sense, yes. As far as any other LOTR characters, I have no perspective on that any longer. After having the experience of playing the one character, and that having been such a huge part of my life, I couldn't really imagine playing anyone else.

Tell us something about yourself that you think we may find surprising.

I always find these questions difficult. We'll come back to this one.

YWhat was your experience like as a child actor?

Extremely positive. Because I started working as an actor from the age of 8, initially on commercials, and quickly small roles on films that then developed into larger roles on film, it all happened relatively quickly. And I loved it immediately. I was lucky enough to continue to work. There was a sense of momentum and I got to work on a variety of different kinds of films. In a way I felt like I was an adult, or was treated as an adult to a certain degree, from a young age. And I got to have incredible experiences - to travel, to work with really extraordinary or talented people - experiences that I wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to have. So it was extraordinary and I think that my childhood was framed by my incredible family. That provided for me, particularly by my mother, a sense of roundedness and reality outside of the context of the world that I was working in as an actor.

Mr. Frodo, I want to say thank you for destroying the Ring that brought evil and terror to our lands for centuries. You sir, are a true hero.

You're very welcome. It was really my pleasure.

You're very welcome. It was really my pleasure.

Now I will diminish to the undying lands.

whats top on your bucket list?

My bucket list tends to be dominated by places I'd like to travel, restaurants that I want to eat in, and a few experiences I've never had. I don't have one thing that I absolutely must...You know, I really must learn a foreign language. The fact that I don't know one, at 33, is embarrassing, and the fact that I have friends around the world whose first language is not english who speak it… I suppose it's not exactly a bucket list item, but if I leave this planet without learning a foreign language I think I will have made a mistake.

Hi Elijah,

I was wondering if you happened to remember a woman at Abravanel Hall who walked up to you and asked, “Are there any more hobbits around here?” This happened before we were seated for the Sundance film On a Clear Day starring Billy Boyd. I wasn’t the woman, but I was standing right next to you when it happened. You were really cool about it and said, “Well, Billy is over there.” She said, “I already got him.” and kind of stormed off. I thought it was really odd of her to refer to you as a hobbit. Anyway, I still have your autograph from that night, and it’s now tucked away in the cover of my extended version of LOTR: The Return of the King.

A question that follows: How do you feel about people calling you a hobbit? I couldn't help feel like that woman was a bit rude.

Thanks for being such a cool guy. I’m a huge fan.

Thanks! I don't remember that specifically. But that sounds about right. A shame she stormed off.

Hi! I have two questions for you! 1) If you could relive any day of your whole life, which day would you want to experience again? 2)What is in your fridge right now?

Also, you are gorgeous.

1) If you could relive ANY day of your whole life? Wow. This goes into the same category as picking a favorite movie or record, it gets into the realm of the impossible. I had a day recently - this is the easiest way to answer the question - in Northwest Queensland in Australia where I took a boat out with a group of friends and some of their family members to the Great Barrier Reef and I had never been before. Part of our plan was that we were going to go to a quay, where there's a sandbar in the middle of the ocean somehow, but there was a high tide so water was covering the quay, so it turned into a giant swimming pool in the middle of the ocean. So we jumped into the water and waves were crashing in all different directions because we were in the middle of the ocean and we couldn't stop smiling. It was magic, extraordinary. There were jellyfish in the water that we were lifting up with our hands. Then we went snorkeling on the reef, we saw a sea turtle, amongst many incredible fish and coral. It was a magical day.

2) I haven't been home in over a month. So I don't know. Definitely some dog food for my dog. And sauerkraut. And hopefully some sparkling water.

What are your views on marriage? I'd imagine you'd be wary given your rough history involving rings.

I've always loved the idea of marriage. I know it's relatively modern for people to not reject the notion of marriage, but to sort of eschew the institution by just simply having a relationship and feeling comfortable within the bounds of that relationship. But I've always found it a romantic notion, the idea of uniting in front of friends and family with the person that you're in love with.

Hey Elijah, you never seem to age. Are you scared something like this can happen?


I get to turn into Danny DeVito? Fantastic.

If I were to see you in a bar, what kind of drink should I send down your way?

An old fashioned.

I was an extra in the wedding scenes of “Celeste and Jesse Forever” in Newport, RI and I’ve wondered ever since that night, where did you pick up your killer dance moves?

Ha! Thank you? I didn't realize I had killer dance moves? I guess I've always loved music and perhaps I have a natural sense of rhythm, but I suppose I can move alright. Thank you.

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Daniel Radcliffes or 1 Daniel Radcliffe-sized duck?

You get a gold star for a bizarre question.


Isn't everyone ticklish? Why ask such a silly question? Of course I am, aren't you?

If there were to be a movie made about your life, who would you choose to star as Elijah Wood?

Daniel Radcliffe. Just kidding. Well, I suppose it would have to be someone that were much younger than me now if the movie was going to be made in the future which it won't, but in theory it would have to be someone who is maybe 8 years old right now. We may never know…

Grand Piano was one of the most beautiful thrillers I've seen and that theater seemed to go on forever! Do you have experience playing the piano?

I had minor experience with the instrument. I took lessons from the ages of 10-14 (on and off) but like many kids I got bored with practicing, but stopped, regrettably. The theater was built in such a way where the stage, the two balconies one on either side, and the first five rows were physically there, but if you turned the camera around and looked from my perspective onto the audience there was no extension to the theater. So all of the extension was done digitally.

Hey Elijah, big fan. How well can you actually play the piano? And how much of the playing in the movie is actually you?

My actual playing ability is pretty below average. In the sense that I really stopped properly learning the piano so long ago, so I can't play whole songs. But I feel like if I were to give proper time I could learn relatively quickly based on the training that I had when I was young and the intensive training I had for this film. And in regards to how much of me was playing in this film, there was a double who was also my instructor whilst shooting the film in Barcelona, so a portion of the shots where you're not seeing my face are his hands. But I've been told by the director that what doesn't amount to my hands equates to about 30-45 seconds of footage.

Elijah I hope this doesn't seem to forward but will you marry me? I promise I'll make a wonderful wife

You're already married, MRS. BASS!

I'd happily get an annulment for you.

Wow! Damn! I hope your husband's not a fan of reddit.

What's your favorite Austin beer so far? So many to choose from these days.

Mm, Pearl snap is a good one. I like that line of canned beer.

Hey Elijah! Fellow Austin resident here. What's your favorite spot/shop/restaurant in the city? I keep hoping to run into you at Austin Books.

The East Side Kings truck is incredible. I love Barleyswine. And there's no brisket like Franklin Bar-b-que.

Do you wear wigs?

Have you worn wigs?

Will you wear wigs?

When will you wear wigs?

A fine joke that has taken on a life of its own. Touche, Dominic Monaghan, Touche.

Hey Elijah, what would you do for a klondike bar?

I wouldn't go to any great lengths, as Klondike bars don't really do it for me.

One of my favorite movies is The War. What was it like working with Kevin Costner? Do you have any great memories from the set of the movie?

I love that movie too. It was a treat to work with someone I'd grown up watching onscreen. I've great memories of working on that film, because a lot of the experience making it was working with a lot of kids my own age. Because so much of what my character and my sister's character experience in the film is in relation to their friendship with a group of kids. I had a blast living in Georgia, and working with a number of kids my age, and really falling in love with the south.



Just kidding. Thank you for taking the time to take a picture with me.

I like serious face on occasion.

I don't hate you. Of course!

What was the worst thing that went wrong on the set of LOTR? (Blooper, spill of tea on a costume, accidental sexual position?)

We had a variety of minor injuries. My favorite was probably Viggo getting half of his tooth knocked out during a fight sequence, and his insistence on applying superglue to put it back in to keep working.

Hi Elijah Wood,

Huge fan here, loved your work from your days as a child actor up to now in Wilfred. Also I'm a LOTR fanatic.

My question is if you had the one ring for one day how do you think you would use it?

Thanks for being an inspiration to us all and keep up the incredible work.

I think I would spend most of my time being invisible. It would be a great tool. The imagination runs wild at the possibilities...

Helix or Dome?

I pledge no allegiance to either. May the best team win.

yes. yes he does

that's amazing man.

Hey Elijah. Thanks for doing this AMA! Which one is the real you in this picture?


They're both me…?

Hey Elijah! I was wondering what it was like working with Eugene Hutz during Everything Is Illuminated. I hear a lot of rumors about the guys personality and was wondering if there was any truth to some of the more scandalous ones.

I loved working with him. I think he's an extraordinary artist, musician, performer, and I really enjoyed watching him bring the character of Alex to life. And to get to know him and the Gogol Bordello family over the years was a special time in my life. There's nothing like a live Gogol Bordello show.

What is your favorite part of living in Austin?

Favorite part of living in Austin is that it feels like a small town with the comforts of a big city.

Hi Elijah!

I have no idea if you'll remember me or my family but my dad's name is Jose and he used to work with your dad many years ago (he's an architect).

Myself and my brother would come over to your house sometimes and one year your family gave us one of your Bearded Collies as a gift. Her name was Fanny and we had her for many years. She passed away almost three years ago at the age of 17 and lived a very long and happy life. I just wanted to say thank you for providing us with one of our most special family members and for having a part in my childhood with my first dog.

Here's a picture of her: http://imgur.com/iGOo1OO

Update: WOW guys! I seriously wasn't expecting all of this! Thank you so much for all of the kind words. I've already let my family know about all of this and everyone is so happy and excited that Elijah was able to read about Fanny. Thanks again!!

HOW INCREDIBLE. Of course I remember your family! What a beautiful memory you've provided me. I will definitely share with my family. And what a wonderful long life Fanny had. And I'm sure she gave you a lot of love. Thank you so much.

Oh my goodness thank you for sending me a message! My name is Michelle and my brother is Philippe... I remember the two of you playing around in your house while my five year old self would be sitting around awkwardly, haha. And I'm going to let my family know that this exchange occurred. Thank you SO MUCH! : ]

Aw that is beautiful. And of course I remember you and Philippe. Please give my love to your family. I'm going to share this exchange with my family as well.

What's the best thing you've ever bought? Also, what's your DJ name?

My analog stereo equipment. I've been waiting for years to finally put together an audiophile stereo, and a couple of years ago, I finally put those pieces together along with a custom cabinet that has drawers for 7" vinyl records.

And I don't have a DJ name. I probably should come up with one. But for the record, it isn't DJ Frodo. Why would I ever do that?

What's the strangest encounter you've had with a fan?

Well…oof. I always find it peculiar and I suppose impressively bold when a fan will fly to a location where they think or know I'm going to be without any plan as to what they will do when I get there. Ultimately, coming from the best place, but with logic slightly thrown out the window.

What are you having for dinner?

I'm not sure. I have a Q&A that I have to do for Grand Piano, so there's a relatively short slot for dinner. But there's a pizza restaurant next to the theater, so perhaps pizza. Although I did have a massive bowl of ramen and 2 pork belly buns for lunch so I'm not very hungry, to be honest.

I heard you have over 4000 records. If your house was burning down and you happened to only have one hand (4 finger-spaces to clamp down on the records), which was the only part of your body not seared enough to cause excruciating pain when you touched something, which 4 records would you choose?

What an extraordinarily articulated question. And very detailed. You've really thought about this. Which 4 records? Guhhh. They would probably be original pressing African records which are very difficult to find in good condition and quite expensive. Or there are a couple of relatively expensive 7" that I have that would be difficult to get again.

Well, this settles it. Im gonna marathon all of the LOTR/Hobbit movies tonight.

EDIT I am no filthy casual. Extended it is. RIP in Peace sleep

EDIT My brothers...I have failedgotta watch Clippers/Rockets with my full attention

You're brave. Good luck staying awake.

Did you or any of the other LotR cast ever chant "RUDY! RUDY!" around Sean Astin?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

I feel like that joke HAD to have occurred at some stage.

If you had never become an actor, what would you be doing with your life right now?

I feel like I'm drawn to the creative process, so if it weren't acting in film, I feel like I would be drawn to something in film, whether directing or producing or something in film because I Love movies. But if not film, perhaps music or photography (which is something I've always been drawn to). I also think that one of the greatest jobs on the planet is being a travel writer for a travel magazine because - come on - you get paid to travel around the world and stay in incredible hotels on their dime. AND you get a salary.

I feel like I'm drawn to the creative process, so if it weren't acting in film, I feel like I would be drawn to something in film, whether directing or producing or something in film because I Love movies. But if not film, perhaps music or photography (which is something I've always been drawn to). I also think that one of the greatest jobs on the planet is being a travel writer for a travel magazine because - come on - you get paid to travel around the world and stay in incredible hotels on their dime. AND you get a salary.

Or to be Anthony Bourdain. Because that guy leads a pretty fucking awesome life.

This is the first ama that I'm not eleven hours late to! Umm where to start... I never gotten this far. What's your favorite color?

Green! In all of its shades.

In your last AMA, you said Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad were your favourite TV shows at the moment. Any new ones? P.S. I love you...

P.S. I love you is also a good Beatles song.

Cannot wait for GoT season 4. I've been away but I started watching True Detective and I cannot wait to start watching it again. I'm also really looking forward to Mike Judge's new show Silicon Valley.

Fellow Iowan (And Cedar Rapidian) here. Just stopping to say hello! Keep on representing our state! :)


I shall.

Thank you Elijah, much respect.

How has starring in Wilfred changed your perception of life, the universe, and dogs?

It's certainly made me look at dogs from a slightly different perspective in the sense that those observations of dog humor that we reference on the show in a comedic fashion become more apparent to you in real dog behavior after having spent so much time in the universe that the jokes are referencing.

Do you remember coming to Times Scare in New York? Hope you had a blast!

I do! It was good. Wasn't it for the the Maniac premiere?

How did you like DJ'ing in Copenhagen last saturday, and what did you think of the city? Thanks for a great party btw.

I've always wanted to go to Copenhagen. I wish I could have stayed there for much longer. I've always been a massive fan of mid-Century Danish design, and on a nerdy, utopian city planning level, I've always admired Copenhagen from afar as it seems like an awesome place to live. DJing was fun and quite intense.

Do you read a lot of books? What is your favorite genre?

This is a subject that I find upsetting. Because in truth I used to read a lot and over the years, my consumption has diminished increasingly and it's actually something that I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make more time for reading. It's always depressing to hear people talk about the books they are reading, and I feel like I've amassed a mountain of books that I want to read, and need to find more time in the day to spend on reading, because i feel like it's something that is missing from my life.

What is your greatest fear?

I suppose my greatest fear is probably the people I care about going away or passing away or getting older. I've never feared death. I think that the world, there's a separation between the people who fear death and people who don't fear death, and I think that that specific fear manifests itself in a lot of different ways. And I've never feared growing old. But I've feared the people around me growing old. And I think that's something that I feel about them passing on.

[No question]

Someone asked what my favorite breakfast taco topping was.

Migas is awesome. But I love chorizo. And I don't understand why the breakfast taco only seems to exist in Texas.


What was that foaming out of your mouth after you got stabbed by shelob in return of the king? I'm having a hard time believing it was straight up saliva.

Also, did you use the same Gatorade bong for all 4 seasons of Wilfred, or did they replace it every once in a while?

It was not straight up saliva. I can't remember what the material was but it was probably an equivalent to alka seltzer. Maybe it was guar gum. I'm not sure.

I believe we might have a couple, because typically with props in films, especially a prop that ends up getting used a lot, you refer to the one that gets used the most as the "hero" prop (so we had a hero bong) but you typically have a couple in case something happens to the one. I think it gets cleaned. It gets freshened up.

How do you feel about red heads?

I love red heads. Apparently there's a red head day somewhere in Scandinavia, I believe, where red heads congregate from all around and celebrate that they are redheads. And the reality about redheads is that it's actually a genetic recessive mutation, and apparently, the number of redheads is declining and I am petrified. I find redheaded women to be so beautiful! And the combination of red hair and green or blue eyes and freckles is fucking ridiculous. Long live redheads, keep the mutation alive.

I'm going to get straight to the point here.. Peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter with slices of banana?? Tick tock, Mr. Wood. Tick tock.

Peanut butter and jelly, although I did grow up primarily with peanut butter, honey and banana.

What's your favorite comic book?

I just read Black Hole for the first time. And I absolutely loved it.

What's your favorite snack food?

Nuts. I'm not really a snacker, but if I did snack, like I would make my own trail mix of different nuts because I really like them and they are good for you too. And delicious!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Elijah Wood conducted on Reddit on 2014-02-26. The Reddit AMA can be found here.