For the most part, the casting throughout Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy was impeccable, if we ignore Stuart Townsend being fired and replaced by the much more suitable Viggo Mortensen when cameras were already rolling.
The epic fantasy adaptations are three stone-cold classics that received almost universal acclaim, made billions of dollars at the box office and enjoyed huge awards season success, but The Lord of the Rings was far from a sure thing when it finally entered production after decades stuck in development hell.
In a new interview with GQ, Adrien Brody admitted that he felt stupid for turning down a role in the series, with the sense of missed opportunity hitting him hard when he sat down to watch The Fellowship of the Ring in the theater.
“They were casting Lord of the Rings, and I somehow didn’t grasp it. I don’t remember what part I would have been right for, but it was some hobbit-like character, surely. I was looking for something else. And I remember going to see Lord of the Rings in the theater with an ex-girlfriend and she turned to me and said, ‘You passed on Lord of the Rings?’. I remember feeling so stupid!”
At the time The Lord of the Rings was casting, Brody wasn’t yet an Academy Award-winning actor, but he evidently didn’t fully understand what Jackson and his team were aiming for. Hindsight is always 20/20, and you can bet that he’s not the only person to have gone on to regret declining the opportunity to join what would become a landmark achievement in blockbuster cinema, and one of the most beloved franchises of the modern era.