Monaghan played the bumbling hobbit Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck in all three Lord of the Rings films, a role which saw him appear in several large and complicated battle sequences.
However, according to the actor, it was a pared-down, emotional scene at the end of Return of the King which actually gave him the most trouble.
Speaking on his Friendship Onion podcast, Monaghan named the “Grey Havens” scene, in which Frodo (Elijah Wood) bids farewell to his friends, as particularly difficult.
“Well, we had to do it three times!” he said. “If you were to ask all four of us, ‘Pick a scene you can guarantee you only have to do once and not go back to,’ we probably would have said Grey Havens, just cause we were all there weeping like children.”
“So, doing it three times, I definitely think that the third version that I did, the one that’s in the film, is probably not quite as hysterical in terms of the state that I’m in as the first one, or possibly even the second one. So, that was tough.”
In the scene, all the hobbits break down in tears over their friend’s departure.
According to the actor, this was particular difficult as “you don’t often get asked to do that as actors and all four of you are standing there very vulnerable doing it three times”.
“It’s pretty costing,” he added.
Podcast co-host and fellow Lord of the Rings alumnus Billy Boyd (who played Pippin), said: “For those of you who don’t know why we did it three times… Sean Astin was wearing the wrong costume. After lunch, he took off his vest to eat lunch. When he came back he forgot to put the vest on, so for continuity, it was ruined.”
Boyd continued: “We came back another day and filmed it again, and the film got destroyed in the factory where it gets processed. So we had to then do it again another day! That’s why we had to do it three times.”
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