Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings is regarded as not only one of the fantasy genre’s most epic trilogies, but one of the most renowned film trilogies of all time. Though it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking on the iconic roles made famous by actors like Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin and others, the cast that ultimately came to lead the film wasn’t always the one that was initially in place. In fact, there were several actors who auditioned for the role of Frodo before it went to Wood.
Jake Gyllenhaal was one such actor, and according to him, “it was literally one of the worst auditions.” He says he “remember[s] auditioning for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ [the role of Frodo] and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent,” he said. “I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, ‘You know that you have to do this in a British accent?'”
Gyllenhaal is quite the seasoned and talented actor, and while imagining a tall, hunky and muscular man as Frodo might be humorous, it’s just not right. Besides, if he had been cast, he might not have had to chance to star in cult classic Donnie Darko, or the critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Whether you think that Gyllenhaal would have made a good Frodo or not, being cast in the film would have significantly changed his career. Though we’ll never know what kind of Frodo he would have made, it’s still a fun little fact and it has us wondering just who else came in to read for a role in The Lord of the Rings.