David Bowie Auditioned to Play Elrond in ‘Lord of the Rings’
When encountering an artist as odd, as assured of his unique vision, and as defiantly unlike everyone else as David Bowie, it’s only natural to assume that he wasn’t of this Earth. Of course, all the songwriting about alien worlds may have had something to do with that, but even so, the through-line connecting many of the beautiful tributes to the late rock icon that have been trotted out in recent weeks has been Bowie’s otherworldly qualities. But which world, exactly? His indelible Ziggy Stardust character jammed with the spiders on Mars, but the real Bowie could have just as easily come to us from any number of alternate dimensions.
Such as, according to a new item in The Huffington Post, Middle-Earth. Dominic Monaghan, known for his role as Merry in the Lord of the Rings series of films, sat down for an interview in which he tossed off a delectable anecdote about running into Bowie at the casting sessions for Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic. Instead of instantly vomiting and hastily fleeing the room, as this writer would have done, Monaghan kept it pretty cool. At least, that’s how he tells it:
I was at the Hubbard’s, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for Lord of the Rings, and when it ended I went over and talked to John Hubbard, who was running the audition, and he said, ‘Hey, it went really well. You should wait around for 5 or 10 mins. We’ll give you some feedback.’ I thought, ‘Oh, OK, cool, and I sat in the reception office. As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else, but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.
The Internet rumor mill has already begun to speculate that the role Bowie was after was actually Elrond, the elf portrayed by Hugo Weaving, and not Ian McKellen’s Gandalf. Either way, however, it’s an intriguing prospect to consider. And if nothing else, Bowie’s involvement would provided the film with the dose of androgynous sexual heat that it was so sorely lacking.