NewsWire: Third 'Ring' movie the 'King' of the trilogy, says Wood - Chicago Sun-Times

Third 'Ring' movie the 'King' of the trilogy, says Wood
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun-Times - December 25, 2002

NEW YORK--It turns out that size really does matter. Three hours of Middle Earth in "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is nothing compared to the length of the last film in the trilogy due out next Christmas.

"It might be much longer," says Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo Baggins, indicating that the last journey, "The Return of the King," will be inching toward the 3-1/2-hour mark.

"It will be as long as it needs to be," says director Peter Jackson, who is busy editing the film right now. "The third is my favorite one in the trilogy. It's almost biblical and makes me cry. It's about incredible courage and the last part of it is just mind-boggling."

Wood adds, "The third movie has always been my favorite. I've seen moments from it and they just break my heart," he says. "You've grown to care about these characters and they lose quite a lot in the process of the third movie. Frodo, Sam, Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn will never be the same."

The box office last weekend indicates that "Ring" fans can't wait for more of the same adventure next year. Other tidbits from this Hobbit holiday happening:

LIVVING IT UP: Liv Tyler as the beautiful elf Arwen insists that Mr. Blackwell shouldn't judge her harshly for her Middle Earth fashions. She hated them, too. "It's not just that those long elf robes are hot, but there are so many layers and they're long. It's so hard to walk gracefully all the time when you're really tripping every two seconds," she gripes. "I would be trying to look all ethereal and then I would trip and scream, 'Ah, this f------ dress!' Then I would hear 'cut' because they didn't use the 'f' word in Middle Earth."

AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE TOPIC: Was it also hard to pee in that dress? "That was easy because there were no trousers under my elf dress. I was all naked underneath with big huge socks on to keep my feet warm. So peeing was no problem," says Tyler.

RING FANS ARE STRANGE-- PART ONE: Sean Astin insists the funniest thing he's seen is "two female fans who came up to me at a convention dressed as Sam and Frodo." Wood adds, "I don't know where Sean hangs out, but he loves that weird ----."

MIDDLE-AGED NOOKIE: In "The Two Towers," Aragorn and Arwen have a kissing scene, but Tyler says making out with the sex symbol wasn't so hot.

"I actually never felt Viggo [Mortensen's] lips because his beard was so coarse and straight. He has all that manly stubble, so I wouldn't know how his lips were."

WHAT TO KEEP: Tyler wanted to keep her ears, she says, but "They're made of gelatin, so you can only use them once and then they melt."

RIDE THE RIDE: Producer Barrie Osborne says a hot vacation spot has become an unauthorized "Lord of the Rings" tour around New Zealand. "There's this safari tour that's getting really popular and you visit the farm where we filmed 'Hobbit Town.' "

Caution: You don't get to live the dream.

"All the sets had to be dismantled because we filmed on preserved lands."

Yet, New Zealand tourism is up 20 percent.

AS FOR THAT RING: Wood actually has kept the main prop from the film, a thin gold band that doesn't seem so dangerous in real life. "I do have the ring and I keep it in my office. In fact, I haven't seen it for awhile. I wonder what happened to that ring!" Here we go again.....

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