Peter Jackson’s original The Lord of the Rings trilogy are bona fide classics. And like any great movie, they’re full of interesting casting what-ifs. For example, Jake Gyllenhaal was almost Frodo, as he explained to Jimmy Fallon on Monday.
“I got a call from like 14 agents,” Gyllenhaal said. “They were all so excited, and when agents are excited, it’s intense. So they were like, ‘Oh guess what? They’re making The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson’s making it, it’s gonna be three movies over three-and-a-half years, and when they said they need a hobbit, we thought, ‘Jake!’ I was like, ‘Thank you?'”
The audition, however, did not go well. Gyllenhaal said the first part was wordless, just stage direction, and he didn’t put a lot of effort into it. Things got even worse when he had to read lines.
“Then I had a scene with lines, and everyone has a British accent in that, but I didn’t do an accent, and Peter Jackson literally turned to me like, ‘You are the worst actor that I have ever seen,'” Gyllenhaal recalled. “He was like, ‘Did anyone tell you you were supposed to do an accent?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Fire your agents.’ But they were so excited!”
Watch the full clip below.