"I won't change and my perspective won't change. I want to continue my life the way I live it, and I'm not going to let anything stop me from doing that. It isn't all about acting. There's a lot more to life than Hollywood." Elijah Wood
Young actor Elijah Wood was hurled toward stardom after starring as the young Hobbit hero Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of JRR Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002 and 2003). The actor, who debuted in the acclaimed film Back to the Future Part II (1989), later played roles in Avalon (1990), Radio Flyer (1992), The Good Son (1993), The Ice Storm (1997), Oliver Twist (1997, TV), Deep Impact (1998), The Faculty (1998), The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Recently appearing in Sin City, Hooligans and Everything Is Illuminated, Wood is scheduled to complete the upcoming films Happy Feet (voice) and Bobby.
Elijah Wood, who revealed his relationship with Bourne Identity star Franka Potente was purely professional, once dated model and actress Bijou Phillips (born on April 1, 1980). He recently laughed at the Internet pranksters who created a website to convince the public he is gay. He said, "There's one that's called elijahwoodisveryverygay, which is actually a personal favorite of mine; it's absolutely hilarious. It's this kind of joke Web site that maintains that they have proof that I am very, very gay in various photographs - photographic evidence (of me) holding hands with a male. If you didn't know any better, it kind of looks real. These people have a lot of time on their hands, and my hat's off (to them) because it's very good work."
A fan of rock music, Wood reportedly will launch a yet-untitled record label later this year (2005). It is also speculated he may play the role of young outrageous punk icon Iggy Pop in an upcoming biopic film. Wood revealed, "I'm scared to death of doing it, because I love him (Iggy Pop) so much and I respect the music so much. I don't want to be the person responsible for screwing that up."
Elwood, Lij and Monkey
Childhood and Family:
The middle child of three to Warren and Debbie Wood, Elijah Jordan Wood was born on January 28, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has an older brother named Zachariah (a video game producer and actor; born in 1974) and a younger sister named Hannah (a poet and actress; born on October 7, 1983). His uncle is Turk E. Krause, from the band Molly Nova and the Hawk.
Elijah Wood, nicknamed Elwood, Lij and Monkey, enrolled in modeling school at the Avant Studios in Cedar Rapids. He is a fan of The Smashing Pumpkins band and plays piano. The owner of two dogs, Rascal and Levonne, Elijah has been living in a New York apartment with his sister since December 2003, but frequently stays in his mother's guesthouse in Santa Monica, California.
Everything Is Illuminated
"When my mom brought me to Hollywood for the convention, I didn't think of acting because I was just a model. But when Gary asked me if I wanted to be an actor, I said, 'Yeah, sure. I'll be an actor.' Gary was one of the judges in the talent auditions and my mom said it was OK with her. He said, 'I believe in you' and asked my mom if we could move out." Elijah Wood
Having shown an interest in the entertainment world at an early age, Elijah Wood’s mother took him to Los Angeles for an Annual International Modeling and Talent Association Convention. He subsequently found himself appearing in several national commercials and playing bit parts on TV.
Elijah eventually got his first big break with an appearance in Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" video, helmed by David Fincher.
Robert Zemeckis' 1989 sequel to the 1985 hit Back to the Future, Back to the Future II (starring Michael J. Fox), was Wood's first big screen work, in which he played the cameo role of a video game boy. He followed it up with roles in Internal Affairs (1990), Child in the Night (1990, CBS) and won his first leading role in writer-director Barry Levinson's Avalon (1991). He then costarred with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson in Mary Agnes Donoghue's heartwarming drama, based on the French novel and film Le Grand Chemin, Paradise (1991) and with Lorraine Bracco and Joseph Mazzello in Richard Donner's Radio Flyer (1992).
More roles followed and Elijah was seen in such films as Steve Miner's Forever Young (1992, with Mel Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis), Stephen Sommers' adaptation of Mark Twain's immortal comic tale, The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993, played the title role of the half-literate son of a drunk) and Joseph Ruben's The Good Son (1993, opposite Macaulay Culkin). Rob Reiner then cast him in the title role of North (1994) and Jon Avnet asked him to play Kevin Costner's son in his drama film The War (also in 1994). Wood also costarred with Paul Hogan in the big screen version of the long-running television series Flipper (1996).
The rest of the 1990s saw Wood playing Jamey Sheridan and Sigourney Weaver’s older son in Ang Lee's adaptation of Rick Moody's novel, The Ice Storm (1997) and in the TV movie version of Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist (ABC), playing the Artful Dodger. He then portrayed the fourteen-year-old amateur astronomer who discovered a comet in Mimi Leder's surprise blockbuster sci-fi thriller Deep Impact (with Robert Duvall and Tea Leoni) and became one of the suspicious high school students in Robert Rodriquez thriller The Faculty (both in 1998, with Josh Hartnett and Famke Janssen). Wood was also featured in writer-director James Toback's Black and White (1999) and starred as an amnesiac youth in Martin Duffy's romantic drama film inspired by Robert Cormier's novel, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999, opposite Janeane Garofalo and Rachael Leigh Cook, aired on Starz in lieu of theatrical release).
After appearing in Patrik Von Krusentjerna and Pontus Lowenhein's wacky crime caper Chain of Fools (2000, starring Salma Hayek and Steve Zahn), Wood nabbed the breakthrough role of a young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkein classic, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). The movie, filmed in New Zealand, received positive reviews and Wood continued to reprise his role in the sequels The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
When the press is finished and the movies are out, there will be a certain feeling of sadness.” Elijah Wood (on the completion of filming The Lord of the Rings).
Wood teamed with Brian Burns to play Irish-American brothers in writer-director Edward Burns' Ash Wednesday (2002), starred as 17-year-old misfit Jones Dillon in Jeffrey Porter's Try Seventeen (2002, opposite Franka Potente and Mandy Moore) and appeared in writer-director Robert Rodriguez's sci-fi family movie Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003, starring Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega). Wood then united with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet to play a stalker in Michel Gondry's romantic comedy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and starred as a wrongfully expelled Harvard undergrad student in Lexi Alexander's crime drama Hooligans (2005, with Charlie Hunnam). He also costarred as a psychopath cannibal serial killer in Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City and starred as a Jewish American young man, who tries to find the woman that saved his grandfather during WW II in a Ukrainian village, in Liev Schreiber's adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel, the adventure comedy Everything Is Illuminated (both in 2005).
Elijah Wood’s voice will soon be heard in the animated movie Happy Feet and he will play a role in writer-director Emilio Estevez's Bobby, a film about the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (also starring Anthony Hopkins and Demi Moore).
"What you are is God's gift to you. What you make of it is your gift to God." Elijah Wood