David Bowie did audition for Lord of the Rings, Dominic Monaghan confirms

Monagahan was auditioning for the part of Merry when the late singer walked into the casting office 

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The Independent Culture

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. 

David Bowie's most iconic looks

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.

​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.”