David Bowie Auditioned for ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Drew Dietsch
Movies
Movies

The loss of David Bowie is still being felt in the fan community, but it’s also letting new fans discover what an eclectic and wonderful character Bowie was. Besides his cult classic performance as Jareth, the Goblin King in Labyrinthwhich is slated for a reboot — the Thin White Duke was a prolific actor in a variety of different genres. Bowie was always fascinated with the world of fantasy, turning in entrancing performances in such films as Tony Scott’s The Hunger, Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. If things had gone a different way, he may have even been a major player in the greatest fantasy epic of all time.

According to a recent interview with Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan, Bowie was seen auditioning for an unknown role in London. It was rumored for a long time that Bowie was gunning for the role of Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell. Monaghan says that Bowie may have been auditioning for Gandalf, but there’s nothing to confirm that one way or the other.

david bowie jareth 2

The idea of Bowie as Elrond is so perfect that it’s painful. To be fair, the actor who did play Elrond, Hugo Weaving, did a great job capturing the character’s sense of importance and authority. That portrayal certainly lined up with the intense and sometimes darker vision that Peter Jackson brought to J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Middle-earth. However, the image of Elrond as an ephemeral and almost otherworldly being fits perfectly with the lithe and mysterious Bowie.

It’s certainly a lot easier to see Bowie as Elrond than Gandalf. Not only is Sir Ian McKellen‘s performance as the grey wizard pitch perfect, but it’s tough to imagine Bowie convincingly pulling off that ridiculous beard. Regardless, it’s going to be pretty tough to remove the image of Bowie as Elrond the next time you crack open your copy of The Lord of the Rings.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast at his website, The Drew Reviews. He'll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him.
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