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The Face Interview

The 21-year-old Ringbearer loves MP3s, the word 'bollocks', Radiohead's albums and - gasp - Simon Cowell. 'Nine of ten times he was spot on,' he tells John McKie.

Hello, Elijah. Where are you?

E: Where are you?


E: Fantastic! I'm going to be spending the New Year in England at a farmhouse in Penrith. Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan [fellow hobbits] will be there. It's going to be a very hobbity New Year. It's only an hour from Scotland and I want to go there too.

-So...where are you?

E: I'm at home in LA.

-Was it wise to tell people that you actually have The Ring from the film in your house, with burglars about?

E: I guess it was kind of foolish but I keep it safe though I haven't seen it in some time. It's one of seven or eight we used for the movie.

-You can't say that. You told everyone last year it was The One True Ring.

E: Uh... OK (swiftly backtracking) It is The One Ring then.

-As well as finishing The Two Towers this year, you also voiced Frodo in the videogame. Have you played it yet?

E: I have! You can't play Frodo, but you can be Aragorn, Gimli or Legolas. There is a game on the Xbox in which you can be Frodo.

-I'm guessing spending 15 months with a largely British cast was bad for your swearing.

E: I swore before but after that, I became a gold standard swearer. I'm a huge fan of the word 'fuck'. It sounds good in an English or American accent. 'Bollocks' is a good word too.

-You've often said you'd like to do something in the music industry. What?

E: If I was to do anything, it would be to start a small record companyand see how that goes. I love the idea of a doing a radio show.

-What station would it be on?

E: Probably Radio 1 'cause I hear all the other stations don't play very good stuff. It still has the Peel sessions and he's sparked a revolution for many bands.

-What about starting a band?

E: I'd love to. Every man has rock dreams. But I love music too much to do something really bad.

-So what are you listening to?

E: There's a great Glasgow music scene: The BMX Bandits, Belle & Sebastian, there's a band from the early eighties - the Vaselines. And The Raincoats are great, too, but they're English. I love the new Queens Of The Stone Age record. I used to love a band called Simian but their new record is bizarre.

-And you love Radiohead, who are recording their new stuff in LA...

E: I know! I've been tempted to sneak out to the studio. I'm a huge fan and I respect the fact that they're constantly trying to evaluate what they do. I've downloaded 11 of their new songs, which they played in gigs this year.

-Are you a fan of MP3ing stuff?

E: Yes. If I were to download someone's record online, I would listen to it and then buy the album. I love being able to do it.

-What did you think of Nelly and Britney doing anti-downloading ads?

E: The whole anti-MP3 thing pisses me off and especially Lars Ulrich. People had the opportunity to listen to bands they've never heard before. It was doing more good than harm but people with greed for money were trying to stop a revolution. I don't like his attitude. (Adopts a gruff, macho voice) 'I will do everything in my powers to shut off their power.'

-Are you really going to appear in The Flaming Lips' film 'Christmas On Mars'?

E: Yes, I hope so. I went to see them in LA and they asked me if I'd like to be in the movie and I said (high-pitched squeal) 'YEE-EE-ESS'. They were meant to be filming in November but they had to go on tour with Beck. If I were them, I'd put Beck in front of me too.

-How's the fencing coming along?

E: I stopped fencing when I was 15 but when we started production on LOTR I had to learn a bit more, but then Frodo didn't have to fight. So I stopped again.

-But Madonna's fencing now, in her 'Die Another Day' video

E: That song is OK but I'm angry because (raises voice) that is NOT a James Bond theme song, it's a dance song. There should be more orchestration.

-Who should be singing it, then?

E: You know what band would do a great Bond song, just for shits and giggles, that band who did 'Becoming More Like Alfie'... The Divine Comedy, before they became a modern rock band.

-'Just for shits and giggles...?'

E: It's a great phrase. I'm passing it on to you.

-Your first role was in a Paula Abdul video, aged eight. Are you impressed by her American Idol comeback?

E: It was an interesting move. She may have been alittle too sensitive not to hurt anyone's feelings. It's important to tell people what you really think which is what Simon Cowell did.

-Did you like him?

E: I love Simon Cowell and nine times out of ten he was spot on.

-Have you finally read the LOTR trilogy?

E: (Caught out) Oh! You know what's really terrible... I haven't. It's a result of being part of it. The first thing you wanna do when you stop working on a movie is put your mind on something different. The next time you speak to me, I will have read all of them. I promise.

-Finally, who'd win the fight -Frodo or Harry Potter?

E: Frodo would, being the hobbit. But I would ask Harry to remove his glasses first.

Thanks Ari!


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