With major motion pictures as big budgeted as The Lord of The Rings, it’s not a surprise that many Hollywood actors battled to put their best into the ring when it came to auditioning for Frodo Baggins. The role eventually went to Elijah Wood and helped revitalize his career from child star to more adult roles. That said, there were other actors aside from Wood who were interested in scoring the role.
One of the actors that failed to get the part in Lord of The Rings was none other than Jake Gyllenhaal. At the time Gyllenhaal was a relatively unknown with the exception of his roles in Bubble Boy, and what would be his first cult hit for Donnie Darko. The reason why we didn’t know of Gyllenhaal’s audition until now is because he failed miserably.
Opening up for The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable session, Gyllenhaal discussed experiencing his most painful audition in front of director Peter Jackson. Of the embarrassing situation, Gyllenhaal said:
“I remember auditioning for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ [the role of Frodo] and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent. I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, ‘You know that you have to do this in a British accent?’ We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions.”
Fortunately for Jake Gyllenhaal his role in Donnie Darko became a cult classic, and not getting the role of Frodo Baggins probably made Gyllenhaal reexamine what he would go out for in the future. Picture this, if Gyllenhaal would have scored the role in The Lord of The Rings, he would of had to commit to a lengthy three picture deal, which might not have allowed him to take on roles in Jarhead, or Brokeback Mountain.
Jake Gyllenhaal hasn’t really been a box office draw, but instead he has focused on material that has helped him grow as an actor. If he would of had three Lord of The Rings films under his belt, he may not of been able to score smaller pieces that turned out to be stellar performances in End of Watch, Brothers, and this year’s Prisoners.
We bet Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t losing too much sleep over his terrible Lord of The Rings audition.