It has long been rumoured that David Bowie was considered for a role in the Lord of the Rings movies but now, shortly after his death, one of the hobbits has confirmed that the Starman did indeed audition for a part in Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
Dominic Monaghan, who played Meriadoc ‘Merry’ Brandbuck in the movies, ran into Bowie while auditioning himself. It remains unknown which character he wanted to play, be it elf lord Elrond as many suspect or wizard Gandalf. Either way, he surely would have been great given his turn as the Goblin King in Labyrinth.
Here’s the full story from Monaghan, originally posted on The Huffington Post:
I was at the Hubbard’s, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for Lord of the Rings and when it ended I went over a talked to John Hubbard who was running the audition. He said, ‘Hey, it went really well. You should wait around for five or 10 minutes. We’ll give you some feedback.’ I thought, ‘Oh, OK, cool’ and I sat in the reception office.
As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now, so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.
David Bowie: Life in pictures
David Bowie: Life in pictures
David Bowie in 1960s
Davy Jones; life before David Bowie
David Bowie in 1964
David Bowie 'In Mime' at the Middle Earth Club, London, 1968
David Bowie in 1969
David Bowie performing his final concert as Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1973
David Bowie in 1973
David Bowie, with his wife Angela (Angie) and his son Zowie, after receiving an award for his latest record "Ziggy stardust" in Amsterdam, 1974
David Bowie in the 1970s
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David Bowie in the 1980s
David Bowie gives a press conference presenting the Japanese movie 'Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' directed by Nagisa Oshima, during the 36th International Film Festival in Cannes, 1983
David Bowie performs on stage during a concert in La Courneuve, 1987
David Bowie during his concert in West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, 1987
David Bowie shakes hands with Princess Diana, 1993
David Bowie autographs copies of his newest album 'Outside' at the grand opening of a Herald Square music store 26 September 1995 in New York
David Bowie performs at the Panathinaikos stadium in Athens during a rock festival, 1996
David Bowie and his wife, supermodel Iman smile as they pose for photos after Bowie received a star on the world famous Walk of Fame 12 February in Hollywood, 1997
David Bowie getting ready to perform 'Earthling' at the Phoenix Music Festival in 1997
David Bowie on stage performing during the Tibet House Benefit Concert in New York City, 2001
David Bowie Meltdown concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, June 2002
David Bowie performing during his concert at the Stravinski hall stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, 2002
David Bowie in 'Last Call with Carson Daly' TV programme taping in New York, 2003
David Bowie walks with his with wife Iman and daughter Alexandria (2) in New York, 2003
David Bowie performs on stage on the third and final day of 'The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004' at Seaclose Park, in Newport, UK
David Bowie poses with a pig, 2004
David Bowie and Kate Moss at the 2005 CFDA Awards dinner party at the New York Public Library in New York City, 2005
David Bowie and model Iman arrive to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, 2008
David Bowie anf Tilda Swinton at the MoMA's 6th Annual Film Benefit in New York, 2013
Flowers are left below a mural of David Bowie on the wall of a Morley's store in Brixton on 11 January 2016
Speculation suggests that Jackson turned down Bowie because he did not want his musical star power to distract from the stories. It’s unlikely that his commitment to bagging the role rivalled Sir Ian McKellen's memorable efforts, either.
The Oscar-winning director told Entertainment Weekly in 2001 that he deliberately chose newcomers such as Monaghan and Orlando Bloom instead of well-established actors.
“These are famous, famous characters, loved for nearly 50 years,” he said. “To have a famous beloved character and a famous star colliding is slightly uncomfortable.”Reuse content