Lord of the Rings Almost Had Cate Blanchett as a Secret Second Character


Actors generally try to give their best performance with every role, but how the movie turns out is never really in their hands. So when actors become a part of a project that has all the markers of being a winner, they try to hold on to the experience as much as possible. A similar thing happened to Cate Blanchett on the sets of Lord of the Rings, where, in addition to playing Galadriel, she also pitched a second secret role to director Peter Jackson in order to hang around the sets longer.

“For me it was super quick. There’s not too many chicks in the Tolkien universe. I loved it so much and I did say to Peter and Fran, they were doing a banquet scene with a whole lot of dwarves. I always wanted to play the bearded lady, so I asked them, ‘Could I be your hairy wife woman when you pan across the banquet table of dwarves?’ Of course I couldn’t because the timing shifted. But it takes them forever. For me, Galadriel it was just three weeks.”

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Dwarves are an important part of the mythology for Middle Earth that J.R.R. Tolkein created with his Lord of the Rings series. They are depicted as living in caves, and are truly accomplished metal forgers and miners. Despite their small size, dwarves are known to be hardy folk, with Gimli Son of Gloin joining the Fellowship of the Ring and competing with the elf Legolas over how many enemy orcs they manage to slay over the course of several wars.

From how Cate Blanchett describes the incident, it seems a lack of time was the reason audiences were cheated of the opportunity to see Lady Galadriel as a bearded dwarf. And that would still have been only, like, her fifth weirdest look in films. The actress famously played 13 different roles, both male and female, from the frigidly wealthy to the maniacally destitute, in the 2015 film project Manifesto.

While the actress did not get to claim two roles in Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic, she did reprise the role of Galadriel in all future installments of the franchise, from Lord of the Rings to The Hobbit. In fact, her appearance in The Hobbit had very little to do with the original story, but the pressure to somehow connect back to Lord of the Rings by the studio was so great that they wedged in a scene where Gandalf, Galadriel, and Saruman band together to battle the Witch-king of Angmar, who turns out to be Sauron himself.

Even though Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series is widely considered a near-perfect trilogy, Hollywood had yet to discover a good concept that it doesn’t try to run into the ground. The series has been picked up for a reboot by Amazon, which is said to focus on events in Middle Earth that took place before the Fellowship of the Ring was formed. This news first appeared in IndieWire.

Neeraj Chand

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