Finally I can post Chapter 53 after much trauma!! So much went wrong while I was working on this chapter including at one time losing all I'd done and having to start again!! I did almost decide to scrap it at one point and go to whatever comes next! I thought perhaps it wasn't really worth giving this one tv show a whole chapter especially as many of the pics are of poor quality having been taken straight from the tv. But, it was such an unusual and long show, different to all the others Elijah was appearing on at the time, so I decided to keep it. I hope you'll think it was the right decision!!
In 'Frodo's Journey' the unthinkable happens - Frodo and Sam have a falling out!!
For anyone unfamiliar with my pet project, 'A Journey With Frodo' (a work in progress) is the story of Elijah Wood's experience in becoming Frodo, from back in 1998 when the LOTR movies were just a whisper up to the triumphant Oscars of Feb 2004. In reliving Elijah's journey, and mine, I am using everything I can lay my hands on - behind-the-scenes material from the various dvd's, magazine articles, books, internet sites, tv coverage, word-of-mouth info, etc. Previous chapters can be found here:
"A JOURNEY WITH FRODO"
Hope you enjoy this new chapter
06 December 2003 – Wetten Dass:
Elijah was whisked from Los Angeles to Freiburg, Germany to appear on their popular tv show ‘Wetten Dass’ (Wanna bet?). And apparently he didn’t even get a chance to change his shirt! Before the programme Elijah was interviewed by Mirjam Weichselbraun:
MW: So what are you expecting for tonight, is there going to be an aftershow party for the show?
EW: Possibly. I can't wait for the show, I've never been on "Wetten dass...?", so I'm very excited.
MW: But you know what it's about?
EW: I do, yeah, I've been informed. And apparently it's been on for 23 years! That's a long run for a show.
What he was about to find out was that each show has a very long run too ...
The following extracts are from a translated report posted on 'Always & Forever'. My own comments are in square brackets:-
Thomas Gottschalk: "We await The Return of the King, and whom we have here tonight is the Ring-bearer, I especially look forward to have him here, because he is also a very good sport, we know him as Mister Frodo - today we meet him as Elijah Wood!"
He leads him to the huge couch where already Katharina Witt sits.
TG: "Well I am really in a sort of insecurity, some people say Elijah, some Eliyah, how is it right?"
TG: Elijah - a beautiful name! One cannot really image the life you live at the moment, you lived in a fantasy world for a year and a half, between trolls, kings, knights and castles, but that is quite a while ago now, was it hard for you, after these one and a half years to return back into reality?
EW: "It was a little bit, mainly for the fact that we got so used to the fact that we were in this world, especially through living in New Zealand all the time, it was difficult to assimilate to normal life, I didn't really know what my life was meant anymore, I think I was in a sort of hibernation for about five or six months after the movie."
TG: "Well you shot in New Zealand, obviously a very special realm, many people now seek Middle-Earth, many were at the premiere lately, hundreds of thousands went there, you really hit a nerve at the people."
EW: "Yes, there was, I think a hundred and twenty-five thousand people were at the world-premiere in Wellington, unbelievable, I've never seen something like that. There are a lot of fans, during the past few years that became more and more, the popularity increased so extraordinarily."
TG: "I think that is very congenially, because actually one accused young people to mostly react to techno-stuff, and gore and violence and it must be fast and so on, but this shows that nevertheless fantasy still works."
EW: "Yes, absolutely, and it's nice to see that people enjoy sitting through a three-hour-movie without getting bored - delving into another world."
TG: "You live in Los Angeles, and you made have that - let's call it excursion into the past, but what are your upcoming projects? Because you have done some other movies, but we all now see you as Frodo, what's now on your list?"
EW: "Well I live in New York now, I have a small apartment in New York, and I did a movie earlier this year with Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, "Eternal sunshine of the Spotless Mind", that should come out sometime next year. And I'm actually about to go to London in April to work on a movie called "Hooligans" there, so there are a few things in the future."
TG: "How often does it happen to you know that kids run after you screaming "Frodo! Frodo!"?
EW: "Yeah, I get that a lot, actually, yeah, Frodo. I think I'm gonna be known as Frodo for the rest of my life, what is alright, I'm quite proud of it, it could be worse!"
A clip from the film is shown, dubbed in German:
TG: "You're doing it great!"
EW: "Fantastic, it's ... dubbed! I'd like to say that I did all my dubbing, but I didn't, sadly."
TG: "I will now introduce you to two young men, who stand, not far from here, in the "Europa-park" in Rüst, they are Stefan Prankel and Alexander Ezolt, are you there, guys?"
SP: "Yes we are, our greetings from the "Europa-Park"!"
TG: "Yes they are, there they stand, alongside many visitors. Stefan I will now explain to Elijah what you plan to do. Stefan and Alexander from Cologne bet that they, in a half pipe with the back-wheels of their bikes, can burst 9 balloon during a time of 3 minutes. That means they will drive back and forth in the half pipe and each times they are in the air they will try to hit the balloons with their back wheels. They have to burst 9 balloons and have 3 minutes time.
TG: "Now please be so nice and get into your starting position, I outlined the bet to Elijah, so now my question, do you think this is possible?"
TG: "You believe it?"
EW: "Ah... oh! Uh, can they, can they put nails on the wheels, something that aids them perhaps? I'm gonna say yes, I'm gonna say they can do it! It's three minutes?"
TG: "Three minutes, yes."
EW: "Three minutes, let's go! Let's do this!"
TG: "OK, Elijah has faith in you, but what this man has experienced anybody else here hasn't!"
EW: "I believe!"
[They succeed - just!!]
TG: Now tell me, Katharina, in the US she is almost more popular than here in Germany, you surely know her, have you ever seen her ice-skating?
EW: I have, I have seen you skate.
KW: Thank you!
EW: Wonderful skating, it is!
TG: So, Katherina said, if she lost her bet that she promised...
EW: She's also very beautiful, as well! Very beautiful.
TG: Do you want us to change seats? (to let him sit next to her as well)
EW: I think I'd be too shy!
TG: There go on, Katharina dares, if you're too shy then we get her changing seats.
They all laugh and at first she sits between them for a second, but then moves to Elijah's other side.
[Fast forward to Kylie Minogue's spot on the show]
TG: Kylie, there you go - Elijah!
EW: Hello, that was wonderful!
He hugs her.
TG: Now we finally can answer a question millions of fans had asked themselves: Who is taller, Frodo or Kylie? Could you please stand up once more, next to each other? There look...
They laugh, Elijah is about 5 cm taller, but she wears high-heels.
TG: See, a hobbit? Wait a second I gotta give you the dubs. Thank you very much, oh come a bit closer, now, there is the German voice.
EW: [Apparently Kylie hadn't heard the dialogue] They were comparing our size.
KM: Ahh. Ok now I'm all connected.
[At this point TG takes a photo of Kylie. This is a very strange show]
TG: And now we saw how important it is for our kids to brush their teeth, did you all see how beautiful teeth, Kylie has?
(to Katherina) I'm gonna make one of you later as well, ah you also have nice teeth!
(to Elijah) And you?
TG: Well, he's a hobbit, hobbits of course have...
EW: I smoke too much, yeah I don't have as nice teeth.
TG: You really smoke?
EW: Yeah too many, too many cigarettes, and coffee as well.
The final guests are Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne:
TG: So you all introduce yourselves, Elijah meets Ozzy..
Lij hugs Ozzy and Kelly
EW (to Ozzy): Good to see you!
Kelly: Hello you!
TG talks about their TV show etc.
TG: Kelly, did you see the Lord of the rings, the movies?
Kelly: I did, yeah, yeah!
TG: Frodo, he is a nice guy!
Elijah and Kelly crack up because TG doesn't check they are friends!
[At one point Elijah spots a dish of sweeties and shares them out!]
[A tray of gluwein is brought in. Apparently this was requested by Ozzie who takes one hesitantly. Kylie and Kelly decline but Elijah reaches out eagerly!!]
TG: But Hobbits, hobbits drink mulled wine!!
EW: Oh yes, I'm a hobbit, you know your Hobbits!
[I don't think he was too impressed judging by this fleeting expression!!]
[And so it finally winds to an end and not before time judging by this pic!!]
TG: Flowers for Kylie, it was so lovely to have had you here, and you stayed the whole time... Maybe because he sat next to you (goes over to Elijah) You're a good sports!
EW: Thank you, thank you so much!
TG: Thank you!
EW: It was a pleasure!
[But I think he looks a bit shell-shocked!!]
Shortly after appearing on this programme, Elijah did an interview for Germany's Focus magazine. I've had this on my computer for all these years and never realised it was actually a transcript of a video interview I'd lost. I knew that I'd once owned a video where the interviewer referred to Elijah's father, where he talked about Franka giving him the silver ring he always wears and I had a strong recollection of him once saying 'Let's not talk about that' when 'Try Seventeen' was mentioned. I hoped it would one day surface from amongst all my files but it didn't and I had to accept that I'd lost it. So, I was very happy to discover that I actually have this transcript of it even though, being a translation, the wording does sound rather strange in parts (I'm sure Elijah wouldn't really say 'a crazy, good-mooded chum'!!). But having seen the actual interview back then, I can confirm that the gist of the transcript is correct:
Germany's Focus Magazine Interview:
E: Oh yes, you meant the bar with that name in Wellington. It was our second home, we always drank and partied there, just now again, after the world premier of Return of the King.
F: In the end titles of Return of the King it says, in large print, "The End". Have you already finished the Lord of the Rings Experience?
E: I am more like in the middle of it still. We are still on tour with the film and after that there'll be the DVDs. There are still some things that we have to do for that. But the experience of being together for such a long time, that gives us the feeling that we never really have to say goodbye, that it's only for a certain amount of time.
F: So you don't have to worry about a christmas time depression?
E: No, honestly not. The people, as well as in New Zealand as the actors, they've become such an important part of my life, it's really a sort of family.
F: You've grown up without a father. Has Peter Jackson become a sort of replacement for that?
E: Rather some kind of uncle, a crazy, good mooded chum, who has led us through this insanity.
F: But with authority?
E: Yes, everyone accepted him as a leader,without him having to somehow stress that. We all believed in him and we all did what he demanded of us. But all of that happens in a warmhearted, friendly atmosphere. Everyone, from the team to the actors, always felt involved in everything.
F: Franka Potente was in that film, too. You were given the original ring from The Lord of the Rings, and you keep it in some box at your appartment. But on your right hand you wear another one.
E: Yes, that's Franka's ring. She gave it to me.
F: Are you still in touch?
E: Yes, of course, we spent some time together in LA this summer. She's a wonderful, beautiful and very sweet woman. We wanted to meet again, but she's in London right now.
F: Aren't you a bit jealous that Orlando Bloom has landed another box office hit with "Pirates of the Carribbean"?
E: Not at all, we are very proud of him.
F: In the Return of the King he's got a very daring stunt scene, in which he surfs down a battle elephant. It looks like an Hommage to "Pirates"...
E: Yes, that's really funny, that's what many people have said. But that scene was in there before Pirates.
F: You are one of the child actors who has made it to adult age without having had a breakdown, going to prison or sue his mother. Are you the nice American Boy from Next Door?
E: It seems so. I am just me. I was just lucky to get to where I am. I do feel that it's a blessing.
F: But it is very difficult to imagine that it's possible to enact such a long sequence of this hard, depressing path of suffering to Mount Doom without having made the experience of depression, horrors or other sorts of human disasters?
E: Well, nonetheless I can't say that I've had these experiences. I don't think that you have to experience all that you are portraying.
F: But there have to be some emotions that you can relate to?
E: Yes, but it's enough if you can just relate to and understand the temptation, this addiction, with which Frodo is confronted.
F: During the Promo-Tour for the second film it was feared that The Two Towers might be seen as propaganda for the war in Iraq.
E: Well, that was put forward by the journalists mainly, because there were certain parallels. We were a bit scared that you might see a message supporting the war in it, but that fear disappeared after the start of the film. The film just treats universal themes, and ironically the story was looked at as a message of peace by the Hippie-culture. The heart of the story beats for nature, environment and peace.
F: You've lived in Los Angeles until recently, but you've kept your distance to the showbiz...
E: I never really meant to do that, but it has to do with the fact that most of my friends aren't stars.
F: But you starred in "The Ice Storm" with Tobey Maguire. Hasn't he introduced you to the famous-infamous clique with Leonardo die Caprio and others?
E: He was just around 20 at that time, and I was a teenager. And as you know, at that age, you don't really want to have anything to do with younger ones. Apart from that I don't really do the hangouts and clubs in LA. I prefer a good, well cooled beer in some bar.
F: So you're doing better in your new hometown of New York City?
E: Absolutely, the bar culture there is just wonderful. Alone all these little English and Irish pubs in my part of town, along with the jukeboxes and pool-billiards are great. In this atmosphere I feel a thousand times more relaxed comfortable than in the exlusive in-bars of LA.
FRODO'S JOURNEY - THE ARGUMENT:
(All comments from dvd commentary unless otherwise stated)
Elijah: "By the way, I literally thought that you were going to fall off - 'cos there's a waterfall right here and I thought you were going to fall off the waterfall!"
Why do you do that?
-Call him names. Run him down all the time.
Because. Because that's what he is, Mr Frodo.
It's the Ring he wants. It's all he cares about.
PJ: "… just at the moment that Sean said the line “It’s the ring …” this huge artillery shell exploded about 500 yards away – there’s this huge shock, we were rolling the film and you see Elijah who flinches at the sound of this huge explosion but then just kind of carries on acting – he’s a real trouper. I was also kind of nervous ‘cos it was right on the edge of an active volcano and when you suddenly have this huge, ground-shaking explosion happen, my initial thought was a volcano had just blown up so it shows you how stressed-out I was at the time." (Howls of laughter from Phillipa & Fran)
You have no idea what it did to him.
What it's still doing to him.
I want to help him, Sam.
Because I have to believe he can come back
You can't save him, Mr Frodo.
What do you know about it?
Sean: "This was one of my favourite acting scenes in the movie, just pure acting with you and me, Elijah. I mean I absolutely had a blast!"
E: "I had a blast doing this as well, Sean. I just love the scene, I love the writing of this and I love how it starts to establish ..."
S: "They were really writing dialogue for Sam in a way they'd never done before."
E: "And they were also writing dialogue for me that they hadn't really done before, in terms of confronting you and starting to establish the rift that's beginning between us. We got to really focus our energy on very specific moments. It was actually one of the first times for this relationship the evolution of this relationship that we really got to focus and understand the various movements that that relationship has and how it changes."
I'm sorry Sam, I don't know why I said that.
I do. It's the Ring. You can't take your eyes off it.
I've seen you. You're not eating. You barely sleep.
It's taken hold of you, Mr Frodo
You have to fight it.
I know what I have to do, Sam.
The Ring was entrusted to me. It's my task.
Mine! My own!
Can't you hear yourself? Don't you know who you sound like?
S: "Elijah's hand isn't really that fat and he wasn't stung by a bee, that's an anamorphic lens."
Dan Hennah: "I loved the idea that they never got a hand artist for Elijah, you know Elijah has these short, little, bitten fingernails and all – it was always shown for real, its just one of those lovely little things ‘cos normally ‘oh, your fingernails don’t look too great – we’ll get a hand artist for this’ – that would be the normal procedure."
We needs it.
Must have the precious.
ETA: For some more pics from Wetten Dass please see comment from karin_woywod. Many thanks Karin!!
TO BE CONTINUED
LINK TO ALL CHAPTERS:
"A JOURNEY WITH FRODO"
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