"Frodo" Among E! Online's Sizzling Sixteen for 2001 - Elijah Wood is one of "the young stars who'll be turning up the heat -- and turning heads -- this year"

E! Online tells us to Be sure to catch the E! Original Special Sizzlin' Sixteen, premiering Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. and to enter the Sizzlin' Start sweepstakes.

Elijah Wood.

Elijah Wood

by John Forde

We knew Elijah Wood had talent (not to mention good taste) when the precocious youngster pushed Macaulay Culkin off a cliff in 1993's The Good Son.

Since then, Wood has continued to demonstrate his skills and smarts by working with a steady stream of Hollywood greats, including Kevin Costner in The War, Barry Levinson in Avalon and Christina Ricci, Kevin Kline and Joan Allen in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm. He also married Leelee Sobieski in Deep Impact and managed to avoid aliens in Robert Rodriguez's The Faculty.

Now all of 19, Wood has not only avoided the child-star curse but is poised to become one of the most prominent stars of his generation, thanks to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in the long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels, is due in theaters in December. Wood handles the lead role as Hobbit-on-a-quest Frodo Baggins in all three installments.

"It has been so wonderful working alongside [LOTR costars] Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellen," says Wood, who just returned from the films' mammoth 15-month shoot in New Zealand.

And with the remaining LOTR films expected to arrive in 2002 and 2003, Wood figures to become a fixture on marquees for some time to come.

"It has been the experience of a lifetime," Wood says of LOTR. "I doubt I'll ever get another chance to realize a character this fully."

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