Skip To Content

    This Is What The Cast Of “The Lord of the Rings” Looks Like Now

    Welcome back to Middle-earth.

    by ,

    Elijah Wood as Frodo

    New Line Cinema
    Tibrina Hobson / Getty

    Fun fact: Despite Frodo and Gandalf sharing multiple scenes in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, actors Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen never filmed a scene together in person.

    What they're up to now: Wood has been working on his DJ skills, founded a record company, and released an indie-pop album called New Magnetic Wonder. He also starred in the acclaimed FX series Wilfred.

    Orlando Bloom as Legolas

    New Line Cinema
    Robyn Beck / Getty

    Fun fact: Orlando originally auditioned for the role of Faramir, but was offered the part of Legolas instead because he didn't look enough like Sean Bean.

    What they're up to now: Bloom had his Broadway debut in 2013 as Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. He reprised the role of Legolas for The Hobbit series.

    Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

    New Line Cinema
    Jemal Countess / Getty

    Fun fact: Viggo Mortensen chipped one of his teeth during a fight sequence for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Instead of halting production, he superglued the tooth back in and continued filming.

    What they're up to now: When Mortensen's not kicking ass on screen, he spends his time making abstract art, writing books, and singing sweet music.

    Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf

    New Line Cinema
    Tim P. Whitby / Getty

    Fun fact: For the climactic standoff between Gandalf and Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring, Ian McKellen was actually acting to a yellow tennis ball.

    What they're up to now: Since Lord of the Rings, he's starred in countless films and spent a considerable amount of time with his best friend, Sir Patrick Stewart, performing on stage in Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land. He also reprised the beloved role of Gandalf for The Hobbit films.

    Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman

    New Line Cinema
    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

    Fun fact: Christopher Lee was the only cast member lucky enough to meet J.R.R. Tolkien. The two met by chance at a bar in Oxford.

    What they're up to now: After Lord of the Rings, Lee went on to kick major galactic ass in the Star Wars prequels as Count Dooku, reprised the role of Saruman in The Hobbit, and released his fourth death metal EP called Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing.

    Sean Astin as Sam

    New Line Cinema
    Valerie Macon / Getty

    Fun fact: Samwise Gamgee's daughter in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was played by Sean Astin's real-life daughter, Ali Astin.

    What they're up to now: Astin has appeared in numerous films from 50 First Dates to Click and has guest-starred in episodes of 24, Monk, and My Name Is Earl. You can also hear some of his voiceover work in Meerkat Manor, Special Agent Oso, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    Liv Tyler as Arwen

    New Line Cinema
    Neilson Barnard / Getty

    Fun fact: Liv Tyler actually recorded a song for Lord of the Rings, and you can hear it in the extended edition of Return of the King.

    What they're up to now: Tyler has gone on to star in numerous films from The Strangers and The Incredible Hulk to Space Station 76. She appeared regularly on the HBO show The Leftovers and published a book on etiquette with her grandmother, called Modern Manners.

    Dominic Monaghan as Merry

    New Line Cinema
    Jason Merritt / Getty

    Fun fact: During filming, Dominic Monaghan and Orlando Bloom accompanied Ian McKellen to a gay club, where Monaghan and Bloom eventually found themselves dancing on stage, and very much "embraced."

    What they're up to now: Monaghan was a regular on Lost, appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and hosted his own nature documentary on Channel 5 called Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan.

    Billy Boyd as Pippin

    New Line Cinema
    Kevin Winter / Getty

    Fun fact: Billy Boyd co-wrote and performed the closing credit song for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, simply titled “The Last Goodbye.”

    What they're up to now: Besides acting, Boyd has gone on to find considerable success with his band, Beecake. The group released its first record, Soul Swimming, in 2010, and a follow-up album, Blue Sky Paradise, in 2012.

    Sean Bean as Boromir

    New Line Cinema
    Frazer Harrison / Getty

    Fun fact: Sean Bean was so afraid of riding in helicopters that he actually took a ski lift (in his Boromir costume) during filming and walked the rest of the way to set.

    What they're up to now: Bean made the name Ned cool again when he appeared in the first season of Game of Thrones as Ned Stark. He also starred in the recent film Jupiter Ascending.

    Hugo Weaving as Elrond

    New Line Cinema
    Larry Busacca / Getty

    Fun fact: Although David Bowie expressed interest in playing Elrond, Peter Jackson went with Hugo Weaving instead. Jackson said he didn't want to the singer's "fame" to overshadow the part.

    What they're up to now: Weaving appeared in the final two Matrix installments as the villainous Agent Smith, and provided voiceover work for Happy Feet, V for Vendetta, and Transformers. Weaving reprised his role as Elrond in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

    Cate Blanchett as Galadriel

    New Line Cinema
    Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

    Fun fact: The part for Galadriel was originally meant for Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless, but it was handed to Cate Blanchett after Lawless discovered she was pregnant.

    What they're up to now: Cate Blanchett recently reprised her role as Galadriel in The Hobbit, and, since Lord of the Rings, has appeared in numerous films including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She's won two Oscars, one for her supporting role as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator and her second as a leading actress in Blue Jasmine.

    Ian Holm as Bilbo

    New Line Cinema
    Fergus McDonald / Getty

    Fun fact: No stranger to Middle-earth, Ian Holm actually voiced Frodo Baggins in a 1981 BBC radio adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

    What they're up to now: Holm has appeared in Garden State, The Day After Tomorrow, The Aviator, Lord of War, and Strangers With Candy. His most prominent role post–LOTR was the voice of Skinner, the evil, rat-hating chef in Ratatouille. Holm also reprised his role of Old Bilbo in The Hobbit.

    John Rhys-Davies as Gimli

    New Line Cinema
    Handout / Getty

    Fun fact: John Rhys-Davies lent his voice to Treebeard in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

    What they're up to now: John Rhys-Davies went on to appear in the television series Psych, and provided the voice of Grand Pabbie in ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

    Miranda Otto as Éowyn

    New Line Cinema
    Valerie Macon / Getty

    Fun fact: Miranda Otto had more fighting scenes than any other woman in the series. One of Peter Jackson’s requests was for her to actually hit the stunt doubles with her sword to make it look more realistic on screen.

    What they're up to now: In 2014 Miranda Otto starred as Maddy Deane in Rake opposite Greg Kinnear, and is set to appear in J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan’s HBO science fiction series Westworld in 2015.

    Bernard Hill as Théoden

    New Line Cinema
    Gareth Cattermole / Getty

    Fun fact: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the second movie featuring Bernard Hill that earned 11 Academy Awards. The other was Titanic.

    What they're up to now: Hill went on to star in Valkyrie opposite Tom Cruise, and joined the BBC mini-series Wolf Hall in 2015, as the Duke of Norfolk.

    And finally, Andy Serkis as Gollum

    New Line Cinema
    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty

    Fun fact: Andy Serkis based Gollum's "desperation" and "cravings" on the behavioral withdrawal of heroin addiction.

    What they're up to now: Serkis served as the second unit director for The Hobbit and is set to make his directorial debut with Warner Bros.' Jungle Book: Origins.

    Nostalgia Trip

    Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

    Newsletter signup form