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Orlando and Elijah on Return of the King, ym.com, December 22, 2003
by Martine Bury

Good news. Frodo and Legolas love their fans. Even the weird ones. Elijah Wood was only 18 years old when he went to New Zealand to film Lord of the Rings. Orlando Bloom was 23. The acting gig of a lifetime opened their eyes to an amazing, fairy tale world. With Return of the King, the last installment in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic, in theaters, it's not just the magic of elves and wizards that blows them away. The two are amazed by the hype and, especially the fans who camp out for tickets and watch the movie sporting cloaks, pointy ears, hairy hobbit feet and hold up banners saying, "I love you" in Elvish. Between glamorous premieres, ym got their reaction to all the hoopla.

What's been your weirdest fan experience so far?
Orlando: There was a Japanese girl who was dressed as Legolas. She had the blue eyes and she actually had a wig on and the whole costume and the bow. Cool. But I was like, "Whew, where'd she get all that from anyway?"
Elijah: I'm a huge music geek. So when I meet the fans, I understand what they're passionate about and why they're passionate about it. So I don't necessarily think they're weird. I mean I personally don't understand that level of fandom. I couldn't personally devote my life to it in the way that [some] people do. In terms of the fans of these movies, the way that they've treated all of us has been incredible so supportive. The Lord of the Rings fans have become an extended family of their own. They support all of the actors' ventures since Lord of the Rings. I can understand why they love the films.

What music are you into right now?
Elijah: The new Outkast is pretty spectacular. The fact that they're selling records, and it's as experimental as it is, is pretty refreshing. I got the new Belle and Sebastian. I haven't heard that yet. The Beatles' Let It Be Naked is pretty amazing, too.

Will you miss your friends in the cast?
Orlando: We grew up together. We did a lot of growing. It was my first movie. All of us separately and together we were all experiencing the same incredible emotions. It really brought us together.
Elijah: It was the first time that I lived away from home for that long a time. I definitely grew up. I've certainly gained family as a result of working on these movies as well. And that's the thing that's dearest to my heart the group of friends.

Was any scene particularly heart-wrenching to shoot for Return of the King?
Elijah: There were definitely scenes towards the end that we had to get ourselves worked up emotionally for. I remember the scene on the side of Mount Doom, where Frodo collapses and Sam picks him up in his arms. That was a really difficult scene because it had to be so right. It was such a defining moment in both of the character's journeys. My character had a sort of depleted state of mind. Some of it was simply just playing the spaced-outness of it all and the exhaustion. Which in some ways was not difficult because we were completely exhausted.

Do you have a favorite of the three movies?
Orlando: I see them as one movie. I can't quite break them up. The third one is definitely the most dramatic and exciting. But I love the first one; I loved being in Hobbiton for the first 20 minutes. I love the action in the second one. I love the battle sequences, because it's the first time you see all the cool action stuff. And the third is like all three rolled into one. It's a hard one to call, really.

Will you miss your characters?
Orlando: It's very sad to say goodbye to a great character like that. I was really connected to Leggie for such a long time. It was kind of a coming-of-age time for me being in New Zealand. This whole fanfare has been like a Christmas gift at the end of each year. Amazing. There is something about these movies that seems to have been growing over the last three years. And if we were to continue, it's like I don't know where it would stop. It's nice to have the sense that it's come to a natural close. Plus I feel that with the DVDs and the books, the characters will live on in the minds and hearts of people.

True enough. But still, to see Orlando and Elijah for three more hours on a giant screen...we wouldn't mind a fourth sequel.