What to Read Next

Elijah Wood: "I won't be going back to Frodo"

Liz Hoggard
Yahoo UK Movies News
23 March 2013

Nearly a decade on from the last 'Lord of the Rings' film, Elijah Wood's name is still interchangeable with that of his Hobbit, Frodo Baggins. He's had small roles in Michel Gondry's 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' and Robert Rodriguez's 'Sin City', but the ghost of Frodo hovers.  

He even voiced Frodo in a rather X-rated episode of the stop-motion comedy 'Robot Chicken,' and last December fans glimpsed him in a brief cameo in 'The Hobbit', the first of Peter Jackson's three films taking on JRR Tolkien's prequel to 'Rings'.

“It was like stepping back into time,” he says, admitting “it was strange” to be without his fellow Hobbits Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan and Sean Astin, who he got so close to on the New Zealand set of 'Rings'.

But in an interview with 'The Independent' newspaper, Wood insists that's it for Frodo, and that we won't see him again in Jackson's next two Hobbit films.

"It's funny – we were doing press for 'The Hobbit', and I was told by Warner Brothers not to say it was the last time. I don't know what that means! But I genuinely don't think there's any more place for Frodo to exist within the framework of what they created. In all likelihood I won't be going back.”

In his latest film, 'Maniac', a remake of the 1980 William Lustig film, he plays Frank, a New York loner with a mother fixation who stalks women before killing and scalping them. 

Did he choose the role to help distance himself from the sweet natured Frodo? He says not, that he doesn't operate in such a calculated way. “To play something this extreme, that represents such a sharp turn, is just interesting in and of itself.”

The film is co-produced/written by French horror maestro Alexandre Aja (who made 'Switchblade Romance'). Wood notes, “I don't typically love horror film remakes – or remakes at all for that matter. There are exceptions, but I think what was so interesting about this was that I knew going into it that it was going to be done in a completely different way.” 

Unlike the original, which starred Joe Spinell in the title role, this is shot entirely from the killer's point of view – with Wood off-camera for the most part, bar his hands and, occasionally, his reflection glimpsed in mirrors. Did his agents advised him against taking such a provocative part? 

“Not really, no. I think the pedigree of those involved was quite high. It was an interesting opportunity for me as an actor. I think everyone saw it for the strange little art horror movie that it was. So there wasn't any advice against doing it.”

Born and raised in Iowa, Wood's folks ran a delicatessen; when his mother Debbie started putting her son up for commercials, the decision was made to sell the family business and move to Los Angeles, so Wood could start auditioning more regularly.

He was directed by David Fincher (in Paula Abdul video 'Forever Your Girl') and featured in a bit-part in 'Back to the Future II'. His performance alongside Kevin Costner in 1994's 'The War' had prompted critic Roger Ebert to declare: “Elijah Wood has emerged, I believe, as the most talented actor, in his age group, in Hollywood history.”

Now 32, that proclamation seems premature for Wood – particularly when he's put up against peers like Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender. He recently admitted that, after not working for two years in his late twenties, he went into a slump. “I've had things that I had to overcome, like everybody does,” he said. “I went to therapy for the first time. It was amazing. It made me learn to laugh a lot at myself, but I also learned a lot of groundbreaking things. It was like mental excavation.”

He's learned to diversify. His indie label Simian Records signed bands like The Apples in Stereo and Heloise and the Savoir Faire. And he DJs with a friend, Zach Cowie, under the moniker Wooden Wisdom. On the film side, his production company The Woodshed, which specialises in genre fare, has just wrapped an Iranian vampire Western shot in Farsi called 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night'. He's also heavily involved in the LA horror festival Nightmare City, founded last year.  

Other achievements for 2012 included completing two forthcoming movies in Spain – 'Grand Piano' and also 'Open Windows', a thriller in which the action plays out entirely on a PC, as his desk-bound techie tries to orchestrate the rescue of a kidnapped actress (ex-porn-star Sasha Grey).

'Maniac' is on general release.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

$200 Military Flashlight Surplus Dumped

Highly anticipated LumiTact G700 Tactical Flashlight Overrun - Now available to civilian population

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

How This 62 Year-Old Beat Wall Street At Its Game

And the way he pulled it off will surprise you. All he had to do was take his remaining $1,500 in savings and...

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

What's your home really worth in today's market?

Find out what your home is really worth in 2016 with this free calculator, instantly.

Drive part-time, full-time, or anytime with Uber!

As an Uber independent contractor you can get paid to drive your own car! We connect you with riders, and you work when you want to.

Buying Medicare Supplement Plan F? Read This First

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.