Elijah Wood, who is reprising his role as Frodo for The Hobbit, is 31 today! And whilst he will forever be Frodo from The Lord of the Rings trilogy it’s worth remembering that he has over 70 films/TV programmes to his credit. Not bad for a boy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Elijah has always had a knack for entertaining people, so as a child his mother enrolled him in modelling school and he began to get parts in TV commercials. In 1989 his family moved to Los Angeles and soon after Elijah appeared in the Paula Abdul video for Forever Your Girl. This was enough to get him noticed and he made his film debut at the age of eight as a videogame boy in Back to the Future II (1989). A year later he was in the critically acclaimed Avalon in his first leading role and he doesn’t seem to have stopped working since! In the past year alone he has been seen on TV in Wilfred and in Treasure Island, has been the voice of Mumble in Happy Feet 2 and has appeared in the film Celeste and Jessie Forever.
Elijah was just 18 when filming began on the LOTR trilogy. He recently returned to New Zealand to film Frodo’s part in The Hobbit and commented on how being back on set was like a ‘family reunion’.
Music is an important part of Elijah’s life. He plays the piano and is a keen fan of the Smashing Pumpkins. In 2005 he set up the record label Simian Records whose signings include the indie bands The Apples in Stereo and Heloise and the Savior.
Elijah supports a number of charities which focus on helping children including Keep a Child Alive and YouthAIDS/ALDO. The charity The Art of Elysium recently honoured him with the Spirit of Elysium award for his support for the charity’s work, hosting art programmes for children in hospital with serious illnesses.
In his spare time Elijah has been known to be a bit of a dare-devil. Whilst working on The Lord of the Rings he and his co-stars tried several extreme sports such as paraponting. In 2008 he did a tandem swing off Victoria Falls bridge and white-water rafted down the Zambezi River for the TV show Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie.nesses.
Elijah lives in California in Venice and Santa Monica. He continues to select a variety of roles to ensure he isn’t typecast and says “My philosophy has always been to try to put myself into roles and films that are different. That intensified after ‘Lord of the Rings’ because it was so massive, but it’s something I’ve always believed in — wanting to change people’s perceptions and challenge myself.”
In the upcoming Hobbit films, Elijah will again play Frodo Baggins, helping to provide a link between these films and The Lord of the Rings.