NewsWire: Roles Playing in Middle-earth – Kansas City Star

by Feb 26, 2001Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Here is a nice little run-down of some of the more prominent actors appearing in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

High hopes for the film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy are being fueled in part by the excellent cast put together by director Peter Jackson and his team. The principals:

  • Elijah Wood: The puckish young actor from “The Ice Storm” and other films portrays hobbit Frodo Baggins, whose unpleasant burden it is to try to destroy a magical but evil “ring of power” sought by Sauron, the horrible “Lord of the Rings.”
  • Ian McKellen: Celebrated British Shakespearean actor (“X-Men,” “Richard III,” “Gods and Monsters”) takes on the role of Gandalf the Grey, the wizard who must unite the peoples of Middle-earth against Sauron.
  • Liv Tyler: Winsome lass Tyler (“Stealing Beauty,” “That Thing You Do”) plays winsome lass Arwen Evenstar, an elvish beauty whose role in the film is reportedly much beefier than the passive one Tolkien created for her in the book.
  • Ian Holm: Another respected Ian (“Alien,” “Henry V”) portrays Bilbo Baggins, Frodo’s kinsman, an amiable and aging hobbit who unwittingly bequeaths Frodo the magic ring and its attendant burdens.
  • Cate Blanchett: The star of “Elizabeth” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley” lends her ethereal presence to the role of Galadriel, the highest of the High Elves. Battling Sauron could prove bittersweet: Even in victory, her magical world would pass away.
  • Viggo Mortensen: Hunky and strong-jawed star of “A Walk on the Moon” strides through Middle-Earth as Aragorn, who may be kingly or may take the guise of a poor wanderer but is definitely a protector of hobbits and other little folk.
  • Christopher Lee: Veteran of Hammer films (“Dracula” and many others), Lee puts his talents to work in his depiction of Saruman, an example of what happens when wizards go bad. Gandalf must oppose him, which should allow both Lee and McKellen to pick some scenery out of their molars.


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