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Jake Gyllenhaal opens up about his horrible Frodo audition for The Lord of the Rings

Oct. 31, 2013by: Jesse Giroux

When casting for THE LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS began back in 1999, 150 different actors auditioned to play Frodo Baggins for Peter Jackson. Obviously Elijah Wood ended up getting the part, and he did an outstanding job as the little hero. Jake Gyllenhaal was apparently also interested in the role, but according to the actor, his audition did not go well at all.

Gyllenhaal and five other actors (Matthew McConaughey, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Josh Brolin and Michael B. Jordan) were invited by THR to one of their annual awards season roundtables, and when they were asked about their strangest auditions, Jake Gyllenhaal revealed he had bad one for THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

I remember auditioning for The Lord of the Rings [the role of Frodo] and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent. I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, "You know that you have to do this in a British accent?" We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions.

Oops. There are tons of examples of famous casting "what ifs," and while some are interesting and could have worked (Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones), others were just bad ideas from the start (remember when Ashton Kutcher was almost Batman?) Jake Gyllenhaal is a fine actor, but I feel like Elijah Wood was a perfect fit for the part. Gyllenhaal could have been a decent Frodo, but I'm glad Wood ended up getting the role, and I think the films were better off with Elijah Wood as the character.

But you're glad that audition for PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME went so well, right Mr. Gyllenhaal? Mr. Gyllenhaal? Hey, where'd he go?

Extra Tidbit: In my opinion one of the most interesting casting "what ifs" is Adam Sandler almost getting Jamie Foxx's part in COLLATERAL. Foxx was awesome, but I really would have liked to see Sandler in the role, only because it would have been something completely different for the actor.
Source: THR

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9:12AM on 10/31/2013
I wonder how bad his audition really was? I know sometimes you can beat yourself up over something you did, thinking it was horrible when really it wasn't as bad as you thought. I think he might have been ok for the role, but it's hard to see anyone else in the role when Elijah was so great in it. He seems a bit too big and muscular also. He might have been a great Sam, but Sean Astin was great for that role also.
I wonder how bad his audition really was? I know sometimes you can beat yourself up over something you did, thinking it was horrible when really it wasn't as bad as you thought. I think he might have been ok for the role, but it's hard to see anyone else in the role when Elijah was so great in it. He seems a bit too big and muscular also. He might have been a great Sam, but Sean Astin was great for that role also.
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9:15AM on 10/31/2013
Adam Sandler in COLLATERAL? I never heard about that. I really would have liked to have seen that. Jamie did a great job, but having seen Sandler in Reign Over Me I think he would have done a great job.
Adam Sandler in COLLATERAL? I never heard about that. I really would have liked to have seen that. Jamie did a great job, but having seen Sandler in Reign Over Me I think he would have done a great job.
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9:54AM on 10/31/2013
I love these actor roundtables, you really get a sense of who these celebrities are as people great to see them interacting with each other.
I love these actor roundtables, you really get a sense of who these celebrities are as people great to see them interacting with each other.
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10:44AM on 10/31/2013
This is the first time these roundtable interviews weren't uncomfortably pretentious. And I so agree with the choice to fit Jake Gyllenhaal in this mix. His performance in Prisoners is so damn subtle and brilliant.
This is the first time these roundtable interviews weren't uncomfortably pretentious. And I so agree with the choice to fit Jake Gyllenhaal in this mix. His performance in Prisoners is so damn subtle and brilliant.
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11:01AM on 10/31/2013
No harm no foul considering The Lord of the Rings films ended up just fine and Gyllenhaal has a pretty good career.
No harm no foul considering The Lord of the Rings films ended up just fine and Gyllenhaal has a pretty good career.
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11:32AM on 10/31/2013
Really enjoyed watching this
Really enjoyed watching this
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-14
11:59AM on 10/31/2013
Obviously it is obvious that Elijah Wood ended up with the part, so obviously it doesn't need to be qualified with "Obviously."
Obviously it is obvious that Elijah Wood ended up with the part, so obviously it doesn't need to be qualified with "Obviously."
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+2
12:10PM on 10/31/2013

I will always argue

that if you knew anything about Tom Selleck it was that he would have been perfect for that role of Indiana Jones. He had the swarm, the charm and the looks....too bad
that if you knew anything about Tom Selleck it was that he would have been perfect for that role of Indiana Jones. He had the swarm, the charm and the looks....too bad
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12:29PM on 10/31/2013
yeah but he would have had to shave the moustache. It didn't fit the part of Indy, but maybe that's just cause we see Harrison in that role as how the character looks.
yeah but he would have had to shave the moustache. It didn't fit the part of Indy, but maybe that's just cause we see Harrison in that role as how the character looks.
12:13PM on 10/31/2013

Jake you think yours was bad....

I showed up to the wrong audition. I was supposed to be auditioning for Back Door Sluts 9 and instead wound up on Peter Jacksons set with a strap-on covered head to toe in glitter. Not that its a competition but I did get a call back.....
I showed up to the wrong audition. I was supposed to be auditioning for Back Door Sluts 9 and instead wound up on Peter Jacksons set with a strap-on covered head to toe in glitter. Not that its a competition but I did get a call back.....
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12:26PM on 10/31/2013
LOL! Nice!
LOL! Nice!
12:19PM on 10/31/2013

Will Smith as Neo

Will Smith was offered the role of Neo for the Matrix first. Chevy Chase was offered Kevin Spacey's role in American Beauty.
Will Smith was offered the role of Neo for the Matrix first. Chevy Chase was offered Kevin Spacey's role in American Beauty.
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2:00PM on 10/31/2013
i would have rather seen Will Smith as Django
i would have rather seen Will Smith as Django
12:25PM on 10/31/2013
Will Smith as Neo I don't think would have been near as epic as Keanu made it, but I can see Chevy in American Beauty.
Will Smith as Neo I don't think would have been near as epic as Keanu made it, but I can see Chevy in American Beauty.
5:23PM on 10/31/2013

Is it just me?

Every time they framed the shot in that roundtable with Jared Leto in the middle... Jesus Leto?
Every time they framed the shot in that roundtable with Jared Leto in the middle... Jesus Leto?
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+2
6:22PM on 10/31/2013
Extra Tidbit: You're right about Sandler doing something completely different than Foxx with the role. Foxx was g
fantastic and was nominated for an Oscar while Sandler would've just sucked as usual.
Extra Tidbit: You're right about Sandler doing something completely different than Foxx with the role. Foxx was g
fantastic and was nominated for an Oscar while Sandler would've just sucked as usual.
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10:39PM on 10/31/2013

Jake as Frodo really happened.

In an alternate universe somewhere, Lord of the Rings hit theaters with Jake Gyllenhaal as Frodo and Sean Connery as Gandalf, if you believe some theoretical physicists' theory of the multiverse. Man wouldn't it be interesting to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark with Tom Seleck in it?
In an alternate universe somewhere, Lord of the Rings hit theaters with Jake Gyllenhaal as Frodo and Sean Connery as Gandalf, if you believe some theoretical physicists' theory of the multiverse. Man wouldn't it be interesting to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark with Tom Seleck in it?
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+0
9:52PM on 11/01/2013
Pretty difficult to imagine someone else taking on a role that another did so well. That said...I always thought Tom Cruise could have pulled off a good Tony Stark. Perhaps not better than has been done...but good nonetheless.
Pretty difficult to imagine someone else taking on a role that another did so well. That said...I always thought Tom Cruise could have pulled off a good Tony Stark. Perhaps not better than has been done...but good nonetheless.
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