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Stars reflect on their biggest projects

Elijah Wood talks about ”The Lord of the Rings,” Nicole Kidman remembers ”Moulin Rouge,” and more

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”The entire Helm’s Deep battle sequence we shot over two months, so those actors literally were doing two months of night shoots. At the end, they all got T-shirts that said, ‘I survived Helm’s Deep.’ People ask me, ‘Aren’t you tired of talking about Lord of the Rings?’ In a funny way, I’m not. It changed all of our lives. But the fact that it’s been 10 years — that’s a little scary.” — Elijah Wood on shooting The Lord of the Rings

”We had a lot of hardworking New York actors who hadn’t had a lot of exposure and hadn’t been spoiled. So we didn’t have the usual problems: huge egos or extraneous narcissist stuff. Occasionally we hit that, and when we did, we’d get rid of them. Everybody felt it — we were a family. There was dysfunction and fighting, but underneath it all, there was a true affection and respect.” — Sopranos creator David Chase on his hit cast

”I knew that it was a bold movie for Baz [Luhrmann] to be doing, but never once did I think it wouldn’t work. From the minute I sat down with him, I was 100 percent confident. I thought Ewan McGregor was so cool. We’d be smoking cigarettes outside, then going in and dancing, smoking cigarettes, going in and dancing. It felt like being back at drama school.” — Nicole Kidman remembers Moulin Rouge!

”’The Landlord’ was just a goof-around thing we did at Uncle Will [Ferrell]’s house. I don’t think Pearl understands it’s been watched by, like, 100 million people. Thank God there have been a ton of other viral videos. It would be awful if that was the only one. I’d feel like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve given my daughter this terrible legacy!”’ — Funny or Die’s Adam McKay on ”The Landlord” (McKay cofounded Funny or Die with Ferrell)

”I was on my way to a writing session with Judd [Apatow, Virgin‘s writer-director] and I was listening to an upbeat sort of song, and I thought, What better way to express the character’s unadulterated postcoital joy than by breaking into song? I pitched it to Judd, and he immediately suggested ‘Age of Aquarius.’ Even when we were shooting it I thought, There’s no way this will be in the movie. It’s too ridiculous. My favorite thing was watching [costar] Seth Rogen sing, because he did not sing one note that even remotely approximated a note in the song. We did a test screening, and the ending played better than we possibly could have hoped. I felt like we got away with something.” — Steve Carell on The 40 Year-Old Virgin‘s ending

”We were in the middle of a lawsuit with Sony, so we wanted to make noncommercial music. We wanted to play banjos and fiddles and mandolins. I think our form of rebellion was ‘We don’t need this. We can play this music and not be on the radio, and we’ll be happy as clams.’ Because labels are always pushing, ‘What’s the next single? We need more singles!’ That was kind of our f— you. But, of course, we needed [a label]. And we got back in bed with them. Still, Home is probably the only record we’ve done that when it comes on, I actually want to listen to it. It’s not frantic. It’s just beautifully calm and understated.” — Dixie Chicks’ Martie Maguire on making Home (Maguire is a singer, a fiddler, and a founding member of the Dixie Chicks)

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