He may be best known on screen as the Goblin King, but David Bowie almost played an elf lord, too.
In an interview with The Huffington Post to promote his nature show, Wild Things, Dominic Monaghan recalled how when he went into audition for the part of Meriadoc Brandybuck in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he ran into the Thin White Duke himself.
“I was at the Hubbard’s, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for Lord of the Rings,” Monaghan said. “And when it ended, I went over and talked to John Hubbard, who was running the audition, and he said, ‘Hey, it went really well. You should wait around five or 10 mins. We’ll give you some feedback. I thought, ‘Oh, Okay, cool, and I sat in the reception office.”
“As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in,” Monaghan continued. “And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else, but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now, so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.”
For years, Bowie was rumored to be interested in playing Elrond, the role that ultimately went to Hugo Weaving. In EW’s 2001 cover story on LOTR, director Peter Jackson said he intentionally picked relative unknowns like Weaving, Monaghan, and “newcomer Orlando Bloom” instead of superstars like Bowie.
“These are famous, famous characters, loved for nearly 50 years,” Jackson told EW at the time. “To have a famous, beloved character and a famous star colliding is slightly uncomfortable.”
Read the full interview with Monaghan at The Huffington Post.