Elijah Wood

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Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Wood at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2011
Born Elijah Jordan Wood
(1981-01-28) January 28, 1981 (age 33)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.
Occupation Actor, film producer
Years active 1988–present

Elijah Jordan Wood (born January 28, 1981) is an American actor and film producer. He made his film debut with a minor part in Back to the Future Part II (1989), then landed a succession of larger roles that made him a critically acclaimed child actor by age 9, being nominated for several Young Artist Awards. As a child actor he starred in the films Radio Flyer (1992), The Good Son (1993), North (1994) and Flipper (1996), and began to transfer to teenage roles in the films The Ice Storm (1997), Deep Impact and The Faculty (both 1998). He is best known for his high-profile leading role as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003). Since then, he has resisted typecasting by choosing varied roles in critically acclaimed films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Sin City, Green Street and Everything Is Illuminated (all 2005) and Bobby (2006).

Wood has also provided the voices of the main character in the award-winning animated musical films Happy Feet (2006) and Happy Feet Two (2011), as well as the lead, 9, in the Tim Burton-produced action/science fiction film 9 (2009). In 2005, he started his own record label, Simian Records. He did the voice acting for Spyro in the Legend of Spyro trilogy. In 2012, he began voicing Beck in the animated series Tron: Uprising, and Sigma in the tenth season of the Rooster Teeth series Red vs. Blue. Since 2011, Wood has been playing the role of Ryan Newman in FX's dark comedy Wilfred.

Early life and education[edit]

Wood, the second of three children, was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,[1] son of Warren and Debra (Krause) Wood, delicatessen operators.[2] He is of English, German, Austrian, and Danish ancestry.[3] He was raised Roman Catholic.[4][5][6] He has a brother, Zachariah, and a sister, Hannah. At age seven, Wood began modeling in his hometown and took piano lessons.[7][8] He appeared in elementary school in The Sound of Music, followed by the title character in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He also served as choir boy during the production of See How They Run, produced by the Marion Creative Council.

Career[edit]

1988–1998: Beginnings[edit]

Wood modeled and did local commercials before moving with his family to Los Angeles in 1988, where he got his first break in the video for Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl", directed by David Fincher, followed by a pivotal role in TV film Child in the Night and a minor role in Back to the Future Part II as a boy playing video games in the 80s Cafe. It was Wood's role as Aidan Quinn's son in Avalon and Tin Men that garnered Wood professional attention, as Avalon received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for four Academy Awards. A small part in Richard Gere's Internal Affairs, was followed by the role of a boy who brings estranged couple Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson back together in Paradise. Wood co-starred with Mel Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis in Forever Young and Joseph Mazzello in Radio Flyer.

In 1993, Wood played the title character in The Adventures of Huck Finn, and the following year appeared in The Good Son, and The War. The latter film was nominated four times, and won two, with Roger Ebert's film review;

"Elijah Wood has emerged, I believe, as the most talented actor, in his age group, in Hollywood history".[9]

Wood's title role in North was followed by a Super Bowl commercial for Wavy Lay's potato chips (with Dan Quayle) using its slogan.[10] In 1995, Wood was in the video for The Cranberries "Ridiculous Thoughts", played the lead role in Flipper, and was in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm. In 1997, Wood was Jack "The Artful Dodger" Dawkins in Tony Bill's film adaptation of Oliver Twist, and was a leading role in Deep Impact and appeared in The Faculty. In 1999, Wood played a suburban white teenager who affects hip-hop lingo in James Toback's Black and White, and a junior hitman in Chain of Fools.

1999–2003: The Lord of the Rings[edit]

Wood was cast as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of director Peter Jackson's adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel. His most hotly anticipated project, the 2001 film gave Wood top billing as Baggins, alongside a cast that included Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, and John Rhys-Davies. The Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand for over a year, and before the cast left the country, Jackson gave Wood two gifts: one of the One Ring props used on the set and Sting, Frodo's sword. He was also given a pair of prosthetic "hobbit feet" which were worn during filming. In 2002, Wood lent his voice to the direct-to-video release of The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina. The second part of Peter Jackson's trilogy was also released, titled The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. In 2003, he starred in the direct-to-video movie All I Want (also titled Try Seventeen), with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King unveiled that December, sweeping the 76th Academy Awards in early 2004.

2004–present[edit]

Wood's first post-trilogy role was in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as a lab technician, followed by his performance as serial killer Kevin in Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's comic book series Sin City. On May 12, 2005, Wood hosted a program called "MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed", when the new Xbox 360 games console was launched.[11]

In 2005, Wood starred in Everything Is Illuminated, in which he plays a young American Jewish man on a quest to find the woman who once saved his grandfather during World War II, and Green Street, 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 18 five-minute sections, each 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 the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and 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.[12]

In 2005, he was part of the ensemble cast in Emilio Estevez's Bobby, in which his character gets married to change his draft classification.[13] It premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was released on November 17, 2006, in New York and Los Angeles. Wide release followed on November 23. In Happy Feet, Wood provided the voice of Mumble, a penguin who can tap dance, but not sing.[14] Happy Feet was released on November 17, 2006, and has grossed over $380 million worldwide. The movie also received a Golden Globe Award nomination and won an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Animated Feature. Day Zero, a drama about the draft, had its debut at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. Wood portrays draftee Aaron Feller.[15]

In 2006, Wood hosted the special "Saving a Species: The Great Penguin Rescue" for Discovery Kids Channel,[16] for which he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the category of acting in a children/youth/family special.[17] On January 4, 2007, Wood joined Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg to announce the nominees for the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.[18]

In The Oxford Murders, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Guillermo Martínez, Wood plays a graduate student who investigates a series of bizarre, mathematically-based murders in Oxford.[19] It was released in Spain on January 18, 2008. Wood also voiced the lead in the animated feature film version of the short film 9.[20] A project in which Wood was set to star, a biopic about singer Iggy Pop, putatively named The Passenger,[21] has not come to fruition after years in development.[22]

Wood's first starring TV role is on the FX series Wilfred in which he plays Ryan. The pilot was shot in the summer of 2010.[23] In January 2011, it was confirmed that Wood would reprise the role of Frodo Baggins in the The Hobbit trilogy.[24] The first of these, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was released on December 14, 2012.

At PAX East in April 2012, it was confirmed that Wood will give the voice to Agent Maine's AI, Sigma, in Season 10 of the machinima series Red vs. Blue. Wood also starred in the Beastie Boys' music video for "Make Some Noise", along with Seth Rogen and Danny McBride.

Other work[edit]

Wood DJ'ing at the box.com launch party in New York in 2012

In 2005, Wood started his own record label called Simian Records. On September 19, 2006, Wood announced that Simian had signed The Apples in Stereo as their first band, with their new album New Magnetic Wonder released in February 2007.[25] In addition he also directed the music video for "Energy".[26] The other band signed to Simian thus far is Heloise and the Savoir Faire.

Wood has also provided voiceovers for video games, providing the voice for Spyro the Dragon in the Legend of Spyro game trilogy,[27] as well as reprising Mumble in the game version of Happy Feet.[28] 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.[29]

On April 11, 2008, Wood was the guest host of Channel 4's Friday Night Project. On April 25, 2009, Wood was honored with the Midnight Award by the San Francisco International Film Festival as a dynamic young American actor who "has made outstanding contributions to independent and Hollywood cinema, and who brings striking intelligence, exemplary talent and extraordinary depth of character to his roles".[30] Wood also starred in an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! entitled "Eat" where he danced and "went crazy" alongside the rest of the Yo Gabba Gabba! crew. Wood can be seen in a short film on stepthroughtheportal.com. The site is an interactive website created by Simian Records artist' The Apples in Stereo, promoting their upcoming album, Travelers in Space and Time.

Among producing and acting, Wood has also become a well-known DJ and, along with his friend Zach Cowie, takes to the stage under the name Wooden Wisdom a.k.a. DJ Frodo.[31][32] The duo has spun at events such as the Bushmills Live 2012 festival at the Old Bushmills Distillery and at the pre-Emmy party at The London West Hollywood hotel.[33][34] Wood has signed up to co-produce and also star in 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. Wood, alongside Tom Hiddleston and Anna Paquin, started shooting in late 2012.[35]

In 2010 Wood together with Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller founded The Woodshed, a production company which promotes horror films. In 2013 the company was rebranded as SpectreVision.[36]

Wood also stars in the TV show Wilfred and voiced one of two main characters in the adventure game Broken Age (2014).

Personal life[edit]

Wood in February 2006

Elijah Wood is an older brother of actress Hannah Blessing Wood and younger brother of Zachariah Nathaniel Wood, who is a video game producer.

In an interview about Everything Is Illuminated, director Liev Schreiber commented that Wood has a "generosity of spirit" and a "sincere goodness as a human being."[37] He supported campaigns for charity as Keep a Child Alive or ALDO/YouthAIDS. Wood is a music lover, owning a vast collection of roughly 4,000 vinyl records and CDs. He is quoted as citing his favorite band as The Smashing Pumpkins.[38][39]

Wood has a tattoo of the word "nine" written in Tengwar script, but in the English language (rather than Quenya or Sindarin as is widely believed) below his waist on the right side, a reference to his character as one of the Fellowship of the Ring. It is simply a coincidence that he later starred in 9. The other actors of "The Fellowship" got the same tattoo with the exception of John Rhys-Davies. Rhys-Davies's stunt double from the film got the tattoo instead, thus the cast can still assert that "all" the members of the Fellowship acquired a tattoo.[40]

In May 2006, Autograph Collector Magazine published its list of 10 Best & 10 Worst Hollywood Autograph Signers, Wood was ranked #7 of Best Signers.[41]

On April 23, 2010, in a charitable gesture, Wood visited the town of Curepto, Chile, one of the hardest hit by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on February 27, 2010. He made personal visits to many of the victims and was accompanied by the first lady of Chile, Ms. Cecilia Morel.[42][43]

In 2008, during an appearance on Jack Osbourne's show Adrenaline Junkie, he became the first person to cross Victoria Falls on ropes.[44]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elijah Wood Biography". The Biography Channel. A+E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ Rauzi, Robin (April 6, 1993). "Elijah Wood: Having Fun Acting as a Kid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ 1
  4. ^ ""Hooligans" – The seven sins according to Elijah Wood". always.ejwsites.net. 
  5. ^ "Elijah Wood Biography". The Biography Channel. AETN UK. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ Heath, Chris (April 11, 2002). "The Secret Life of Elijah Wood". Rolling Stone (893). "His Catholic mother favored biblical names. His older brother was Zachariah, his younger sister would be Hannah. He got Elijah. "He was a prophet," Wood says, "a messenger of God." This Elijah does not imagine himself a messenger of God and has not stayed close to organized Catholicism, but he does try to pray every night before he goes to sleep." 
  7. ^ Harnick, Chris (June 27, 2013). "Elijah Wood Reveals Vintage Modeling Pictures On 'Conan' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ Hopewell, John (October 12, 2013). "Elijah Wood at Sitges: 'Genre Is Getting the Respect It Deserves'". Variety. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 4, 1994). "The War Movie Review & Film Summary (1994)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Wavy Lay's Super Bowl Commercial Finds Child Star Elijah Wood Waging "Wavy Lay's Challenge" to Super Bowl Bound Troy Aikman". PR Newswire. January 27, 1994. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "New Xbox to kick off console wars". BBC News. 12 May 2005. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ Vary, Adam B. (September 19, 2006). "The Deal Report". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Weinsteins To Present Estevez's "Bobby"". Rotten Tomatoes. March 17, 2006. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Filming Happy Feet 'was like jazz', says Elijah Wood". BBC News. November 22, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Day Zero". Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca Enterprises LLC. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Elijah Wood Examines the Plight of Penguins in Saving a Species: The Great Penguin Rescue". SeaWorld. Archived from the original on February 24, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  17. ^ Gough, Paul J. (February 8, 2007). "PBS leads kids' Emmy noms with 18". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Actor Recipients Sandra Oh and Elijah Wood Join Sag President Alan Rosenberg to Announce Nominees". The Student Operated Press. December 28, 2006. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ Rolfe, Pamela (2006-12-27). "Wood joins suspects in 'Murders'". The Hollywood Reporter. AP. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (2008-11-25). "Elijah Wood Goes Animated For Post-Apocalyptic Animated Epic, '9’". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Elijah Wood to play Iggy Pop". Softpedia. Retrieved October 18, 2006. 
  22. ^ "Iggy Pop biopic with Elijah Wood starring is basically dead." The Playlist, April 6, 2009.
  23. ^ Stanhope, Kate (June 29, 2010). "Elijah Wood Signs on For First Starring TV Role with Wilfred Pilot". TV Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Elijah Wood returns as Frodo in 'The Hobbit'". The Independent. January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Elijah Wood's Label to Release New Apples in Stereo Album". Spin. September 26, 2006. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  26. ^ Mills, Fred (January 11, 2007). "Apples In Stereo, Elijah Wood Make Synergy and Video "Energy"". Harp. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ Kuo, Li C. (May 8, 2006). "Elijah Wood is Spyro the Dragon". GameSpy. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Happy Feet star Elijah Wood". CBBC Newsround. November 29, 2006. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  29. ^ "pandemoniumfromamerica". TDRS Music. Travis Dickerson. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Double Woods Honored at Midnight Awards". International Film Guide. April 24, 2009. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ "DJ Frodo (Elijah Wood) is Back! And CRUSHING the turntables at a Coachella pool partie!". Hipster Runoff. April 24, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  32. ^ "DJ Frodo in the mix". Ulster Business. April 25, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Actor Elijah Wood of DJ Wooden Wisdom to Perform at 'Bushmills Live'". Yahoo!. April 23, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Wood spins for Emmy". New York Post. September 15, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (April 19, 2007). "Wood to Produce 'Black Wings'". hollywood reporter. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2007. 
  36. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2013/09/elijah-wood-woodshed-production-company-spectrevision/
  37. ^ "Everything Is Illuminated". IMDB. September 16, 2005. Retrieved October 18, 2006. 
  38. ^ "Elijah Wood's Charity Work, Events and Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Elijah Wood". Soylent Communications. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  40. ^ "The stars of The Lord of the Rings trilogy reach their journey's end". SciFi.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2007. 
  41. ^ "Depp, Clooney best at signing fan autographs". MSNBC. Retrieved July 6, 2006. 
  42. ^ Visit Curepto
  43. ^ Visit the 27F earthquake victims
  44. ^ "A Famous Adrenaline Junkie – Jack Osbourne". itv2. Retrieved September 27, 2008. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Sibley, Brian. The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide. Houghton Mifflin, 2001. ISBN 0-618-15402-7.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jess Harnell
Voice of Spyro the Dragon
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Josh Keaton