- Elijah Wood
caption = Elijah Wood, December 2003
birthdate = birth date and age|1981|1|28
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.A.
birthname = Elijah Jordan Wood
othername = Lij, Eli, Elwood (nicknames)
yearsactive = 1984 — present
sagawards = Best Cast - Motion Picture
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
1993 "The Good Son"
Saturn Award for Best Actor
Elijah Jordan Wood (born
January 28 1981) is an American actor. Acting since the age of eight, he includes among his many film roles, Frodo Bagginsin Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Making his film debut at age eight with a minor part in " Back to the Future Part II" (1989), he landed a succession of subsequent larger roles, and became a critically acclaimed child actor by age 13. After his role as Frodo in "The Lord of the Rings", he has resisted typecasting by choosing varied roles in critically-acclaimed films such as " Bobby", " Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Sin City", " Green Street" and "Everything Is Illuminated". Most recently he starred in the film " Day Zero" (2007) and provided the voice of the main character, Mumble, in the award-winning animated film " Happy Feet". He also played an American tourist turned vampire in " Paris, je t'aime". In 2005, he started his own record label, Simian Records. His next project is "The Passenger" (2008).
In 2006, he became a well-known voice actor in video gaming and would soon become the voice of the video game icon, Spyro the Dragon, starting with "".
In 2008, he set a new world record when he became the first person ever to cross the
Victoria Fallson ropes whilst appearing on Jack Osbourne's hit show Adrenaline Junkie. [cite news | url=http://xtremesport4u.wordpress.com/| title=A Famous Adrenaline Junkie - Jack Osbourne | publisher=itv2 | accessdate=2008-09-27 ]
Wood, the second of three children, was born and raised in
Cedar Rapids, Iowato Debra D. (née Krause) and Warren W. Wood, delicatessenoperators. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/99/Elijah-Wood.html Elijah Wood Biography (1981-)] ] He is of German, Polish, Irish and English descent. As a child he took piano lessons from Marlene Loftsgaarden in Cedar Rapids. He took to the stage in his elementary school's staging of the play " The Sound of Music". The following year, he graduated to the title character in " The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". He also served as choirboy during the production of " See How They Run", produced by the Marion Creative Council.
Wood modeled and did local commercials before moving with his family to
Los Angelesin 1988. It was there that Wood got his first break: a small role in a video by Paula Abdul- "Forever Your Girl," directed by David Fincher. Film work followed almost instantly in " Back to the Future Part II" (1989). It was Wood's role as Aidan Quinn's son in Barry Levinson's 1990 film "Avalon" (the third film in the Baltimore trilogy containing 1982's "Diner" and 1987's " Tin Men") that first gave Wood attention, as the film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for four Academy Awards.
After a small part in the
Richard Gerepot-boiler "Internal Affairs" (1990), he secured his first starring role in "Paradise" (1991), in which he played a young boy who brings estranged couple Melanie Griffithand Don Johnsonback together. He received good reviews for his performance - some said it was one of the best things about the film - and from there, he went on to co-star with Mel Gibsonand Jamie Lee Curtisin "Forever Young" and with Joseph Mazzelloin "Radio Flyer" (both were released in 1992).
In 1993, he co-starred with
Macaulay Culkinin "The Good Son", and in the same year he had the lead role in "The Adventures of Huck Finn". In 1994 he starred in "The War" (1994), with Kevin Costner. His performance in this movie gained him a nomination for a 'Young Star Award' (for which he was nominated four times, and won twice), and Roger Ebertsaid in his review of the film that:
:"Elijah Wood has emerged, I believe, as the most talented actor in his age group, in Hollywood history". [cite news | url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19941104/REVIEWS/411040304/1023| title=Roger Ebert’s review for The War | publisher=Suntimes | accessdate=2006-10-29 ]
Also in 1994, he had the title role in "North". In 1995 he appeared in the music video for
The Cranberries’ "Ridiculous Thoughts".The following year he got the lead role in "Flipper" (1996), which was not very successful, but the subsequent critical and financial success of Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm" (1997) provided a positive development in the young actor's career. As the soulfully dazed and confused Mikey Carver, Wood gave a portrayal remarkable for its rendering of the thoughtfulness and exquisite hopelessness inherent in the character.
In 1997 he starred in Oliver Twist, as
The Artful Dodger. 1998's "Deep Impact" and " The Faculty" did not allow Wood the same degree of character development, but were great financial successes and further stepping stones in Wood's evolution from winsome child star to impressive young actor.
Wood's next role was as the boyfriend of a wannabe hip-hop groupie in
James Toback's problematic "Black and White" (1999). He followed this with a role as a junior hitman in "Chain of Fools".
1999–2003: "The Lord of the Rings"
Wood further developed as an actor in "", the first installment of director
Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary trilogy. His most hotly anticipated project, the 2001 film gave Wood top billing as Frodo Baggins, alongside a glittering cast that included Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen, and Liv Tyler.
" The Lord of the Rings" was filmed in
New Zealandand, before the cast left the country, Jackson gave Wood two gifts: one of the One Ringprops used on the set and Sting, Frodo's sword. He was also given a pair of prosthetic "hobbit feet" he wore during filming. That same year, the young actor could be seen in less mystical surroundings, courtesy of Ed Burns' "Ash Wednesday", a crime drama that also featured Oliver Plattand Rosario Dawson.
In 2002, Wood lent his voice to
Disney's straight-to-video release of " The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina". Of course, his most substantial role of 2002 is inarguably his return to the role of hobbit Frodo Baggins in "".
2003 proved to be a similar year for Wood; after two relatively small jobs (his role credited as 'The Guy' in ' and his stint as First Assistant Director in
Sean Astin's "The Long and Short of It" served purely as a break for Elijah), he starred in "All I Want" and once again resumed his role as Frodo Baggins for ' (2003), the last chapter in Tolkien's trilogy.
2004–present: Recent career
Hot on the heels of the trilogy, Wood quickly appeared in his first post-Frodo role in "
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), playing an ethically challenged lab technician who helps erase heartbreaking memories but then uses his knowledge of the past relationship of an unknowing former patient (played by Kate Winslet) to woo her. He then had a chillingly silent turn as the cannibalistic, bespectacled serial killer Kevin in director Robert Rodriguezand writer-artist Frank Miller's visually arresting adaptation of Miller's crime noir comic book series "Sin City" (2005), appearing opposite Mickey Rourkein the segment " The Hard Goodbye". On May 12, 2005 , Wood hosted a program called , when the new Xbox 360was launched. [cite news | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4539835.stm | title=New Xbox to kick off console wars | publisher=BBC News | date= 2005-05-12| accessdate=2006-10-24 ]
Also in 2005, Wood starred in "Everything Is Illuminated", in which he plays a young American
Jewishman on a quest to find the woman who once saved his grandfather during the Second World War, and "Green Street Hooligans", as an American college student who falls in with a violent English football firm. Both had limited release, but were critically acclaimed.
Wood shot a small part in "
Paris, je t'aime", which consists of eighteen 5-minute sections. Each section is directed by a different director. Wood’s section, called "Quartier de la Madeleine", was directed by Vincenzo Natali. The film opened on May 18 at 2006 Cannes Film Festivaland was shown at 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. First Look Pictures acquired the North American rights, and the film opened in the US in early 2007. [cite news | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1536522_3_0_,00.html | title=First Look Pictures embraced Paris, je t'aime | publisher=Entertainment Weekly | accessdate=2006-10-18 ]
One of his most recent films was
Emilio Estevez's "Bobby", in which his character gets married to change his draft classification. [cite news | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/news/comments/? | title=Weinsteins To Present Estevez's "Bobby" | publisher=rottentomatoes | accessdate=2006-10-18 ] It premiered at the Venice Film Festivaland was released on November 17, 2006in New Yorkand Los Angeles. Wide release followed on November 23.
Happy Feet", [cite news | url=http://movies.about.com/od/moviesinproduction/a/happyfeet033005.htm | title=Elijah Wood and Hugh Jackman Provide Voices of Penguins in "Happy Feet" | publisher=About - News & Issues, NY | date= 2006-10-14| accessdate=2006-10-18 ] Wood provided the voice of Mumble, a penguin who can tap dance, but not sing. " Happy Feet" was released on November 17, 2006and has grossed over $380 million dollars worldwide. The movie also received a Golden Globe Awardnomination and won an Academy Awardand a BAFTAfor Best Animated Feature.
Wood has finished filming "
Day Zero", [cite news | url=http://www.indiewire.com/movies/2006/07/production_repo_9.html | title=Day Zero | publisher=Indiewire | accessdate=2006-10-18 ] a drama about the draft, in which he portrays Aaron Feller. The film had its debut at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
On November 19, Wood hosted the special "Saving a Species: The Great Penguin Rescue" for Discovery Kids Channel, [cite news | url=http://www.seaworld.org/education-resources/shamu-tv/broadcasts/pressrelease.htm | title=Elijah Wood Examines the plight of penguins in Saving a species: The Great penguins rescue | publisher= Sea World.org | date=
2006-11-18| accessdate=2006-11-18 ] for which he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the category of acting in a children/youth/family special. [cite news | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3ib856b859909a99894bae61acefcee5b7 | title=PBS leads kids' Emmy noms with 18 | publisher= hollywoodreporter.com | date= 2007-02-08| accessdate=2007-02-08 ] On January 4, 2007Wood joined Screen Actors GuildPresident Alan Rosenbergto announce the nominees for the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®. [cite news | url=http://www.thesop.org/index.php?id=3632 | title=Actor® Recipients Sandra Oh and Elijah Wood Join Sag President Alan Rosenberg to Announce Nominees
publisher=Student Operated Press | accessdate=2006-12-29 ]
Wood also has finished filming "The Oxford Murders", film adaptation of the novel of the same name by
Guillermo Martínez, in which he plays a graduate student, who investigates a series of bizarre, mathematically-based murders in Oxford. [cite news | url=http://www.star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?file=/2006/11/17/movies/15921536&sec=movies | title=Elijah’s happy ride | publisher=Malaysia Star | accessdate=2006-11-17 ] . [cite news | url=http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=filmNews&storyID=2006-12-27T055002Z_01_N27412030_RTRIDST_0_FILM-WOOD-DC.XML&WTmodLoc=EntNewsFilm_C1_%5BFeed%5D-2 | title=Elijah Wood joins suspects in "Murders" | publisher=Reuters | date= 2006-12-27| accessdate=2006-12-27 ] It was released in Spain on January 18th, 2008.
Wood also is set to star in "The Passenger", a biopic about singer
Iggy Popas young man. [cite news | url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/Elijah-Wood-to-Play-Iggy-Pop-7418.shtml | title=Elijah Wood to play Iggy Pop | publisher=Softpedia | accessdate=2006-10-18 ] He has finished recording voice work for Tim Burton's upcoming animated feature film version of the short film "9". [cite news | url=http://www.movieseer.com/InterviewDetailBil.asp?iID=94&aID=2194&Channel=2 | title=Elijah Wood Interview | publisher=MovieSeer.com | accessdate=2006-10-31 ] [cite news | url=http://www.cartoonbrew.com/cgi/shane-ackers-9 |title=Shane Acker's 9 | publisher=Cartoon Brew | accessdate=2007-02-15]
Elijah Wood is one of the biggest collectors of music in Hollywood. In 2005 Wood started his own record label called
Simian Records. On September 19, 2006 Wood announced that Simian had signed The Apples in Stereoas their first band, with their new album " New Magnetic Wonder" released in February 2007. [cite news | url=http://www.spin.com/features/news/2006/09/060926_applesinstereo/| title=Elijah Wood’s Label | publisher=Spin.com | date= 2006-09-26| accessdate=2006-10-18 ] In addition he also directed the music video for "Energy". [cite news | url=http://harpmagazine.com/news/detail.cfm?article=10805 | title=Apples In Stereo, Elijah Wood Make Synergy and Video “Energy”| publisher=Harp Magazine| accessdate=2007-01-19] The other band signed to Simian thus far is Heloise and the Savoir Faire. Wood declared he is a big fan of these two bands.Fact|date=January 2008
Wood has also provided voiceovers for videogames, providing the current voice for
Spyro the Dragonsince 2006's [cite news | url=http://ds.gamespy.com/nintendo-ds/spyro-6/705792p1.html | title=Elijah Wood is Spyro | publisher=Game spy | accessdate=2006-10-18 ] [cite news | url=http://www.spyrothedragon.com/us/main.html
title=The Legend of Spyro: A new beginning | publisher= Official Site | accessdate=2006-10-18 ] , as well as reprising Mumble in the game version of Happy Feet. [cite news | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_6190000/newsid_6192700/6192788.stm | title=Happy Feet star Elijah Wood | publisher= BBC| accessdate=2006-12-27] He also contributed his talents to fellow Lord of the Rings star
Viggo Mortensen's album "pandemoniumfromamerica", singing and playing various instruments on the album. [cite news | url=http://www.tdrsmusic.com/viggomortensen.html | title=pandemoniumfromamerica| publisher=TDRS music| accessdate=2007-01-04]
Wood has signed to co-produce the film "Black Wings Has My Angel", based on the noir novel of the same name, with Anthony Moody and Rob Malkani of Indalo Productions. [ cite news | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i24b21916578451e52e9d905fd230d4fa?imw=Y | title=Wood to Produce 'Black Wings' | publisher=hollywood reporter| accessdate=2007-04-18]
On April 11, 2008, Elijah was the guest host of
Channel 4's Friday Night Project.
Wood likes to keep his personal life away from the media spotlight, and is particularly private about his romantic relationships. In 2005,
Softpediareported that he is dating Gogol Bordello's backup dancer Pamela Racine; the relationship began sometime after they met on the set of "Everything Is Illuminated" in 2004. [cite news | url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/Elijah-Wood-In-Love-9723.shtml | title=Elijah Wood in Love | publisher=Softpedia | date= 2005-10-02| accessdate=2007-10-21 ]
In an interview about "Everything Is Illuminated", director
Liev Schreibercommented that Wood has a "generosity of spirit" and a "sincere goodness as a human being." [cite news | url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404030/maindetails | title=Everything Is Illuminated | publisher=IMDB | date= 2005-09-16| accessdate=2006-10-18 ] He also has supported several campaigns for charity as [http://www.keepachildalive.org/ Keep a Child Alive] or [http://www.youthaids-aldo.org/ ALDO/YouthAIDS] In addition to charity work, Wood is a known music buff who admits to owning something in the range of 4,000 CDs, and once cited his favorite band as The Smashing Pumpkins. His personal playlist of favorite songs can be accessed on iTunes. [cite news | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070127033145/http://hathawaymix.org/elijahwood/music.htm | title=Elijah iTunes Music Picks of 2005 | publisher=Elijah Illusions (via internet archive) | date= 2006-09-21| accessdate=2007-09-04 ]
Wood has a
tattooof the Quenya-mode Tengwarsymbol for "nine" just below his waist on the right side, a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of "The Fellowship" ( Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, and Orlando Bloom) got the same tattoo with the exception of John Rhys-Davieswhose stunt double got the tattoo instead.cite web| url =http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue348/interview.html |title = The stars of The Lord of the Rings trilogy reach their journey's end| publisher =SciFi.com| accessdate =2007-05-31] He also keeps the One Ring given to him by Peter Jacksonin a box inside a box in his attic. Although he has joked in several interviews he is still afraid of it, he's mentioned it's merely because he does not want to lose it.
In May 2006,
Autograph Collector Magazinepublished its list of 10 Best & 10 Worst Hollywood Signers, Wood was ranked #7 on the list of Best Signers.cite web | title= Depp, Clooney best at signing fan autographs | work= MSNBC | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12760428/ | accessmonthday=July 06 | accessyear=2006] Wood has, on occasion, been mistaken for Tobey Maguireand Daniel Radcliffe. [cite news | url=http://www.pr-inside.com/wood-mistaken-for-potter-amp-spider-man-r26362.htm | title=WOOD MISTAKEN FOR POTTER & SPIDER-MAN| publisher=PR Inside | accessdate=2006-12-07 ] [cite news | url=http://www.indiaenews.com/europe/20061119/29249.htm | title=Wood, Maguire, Radcliffe mistaken for each other| publisher=India eNews.com | accessdate=2006-12-07 ]
clove cigarettes- a habit he picked up from his " The Faculty" co-star Josh Hartnett. [cite news | url=http://www.studenttimes.org/entertainment/film/wood_inter.html| publisher=studenttimes.org | title= Excerpt: Elijah Wood on the set of his new movie |accessdate=2007-06-08]
Daytime Emmy Awards
*2007 Nominated Outstanding Performer In A Children/Youth/Family Special - Saving a Species: The Great Penguin Rescue 2006
* Sibley, Brian. "The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide". Houghton Mifflin, 2001. ISBN 0-618-15402-7.
* [http://always.ejwsites.net/index.htm Always & Forever: Elijah Wood] (Award winning fansite)
* [http://www.dancaster.com/ejw Elijah Wood: Performer for Our Time]
* [http://elijah.netg.se ElijahNet]
* [http://www.vimby.com/video/music/us/all/detail/274: Elijah talks about Simian Records]
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