In the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Elijah Wood plays Frodo Baggins, a naive hobbit who must take the terrifying road to Mordor, dodge the evil Sauron and Saruman--and then hurl the ruling ring back into the fires of Mount Doom. Not exactly your average role. Over the phone, the 20-year-old comes off as a sunny young guy ("Hi! It's Elijah!"). He talked with NEWSWEEK's Jeff Giles about the labor and love.
For instance, calling someone "precious" is most often an endearing Smeagolism. It means that the object, is indeed, much loved. However, if delivered with a gutteral accompaniment and/or a showing of the teeth, things could get ugly. It is a brilliant example of a word that can mean the exact opposite of itself. All thanks to JRR Tolkien and his anti-hero, Gollum.