Date of Birth
28 December 1981, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
Elijah Jordan Wood
5' 6" (1.68 m)
Elijah Wood is an American actor best known for portraying Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In addition to reprising the role in The Hobbit series, Wood also played Ryan in the FX television comedy Wilfred (2011) and voiced Beck in the Disney XD animated television series TRON: Uprising (2012).
Born Elijah Jordan Wood on 28 January, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wood is the son of Debbie (Krause) and Warren Wood, who ran a delicatessen. He has an older brother, Zack, and a younger sister, Hannah Wood. He is of English, German, Austrian, and Danish descent. Demonstrating a gift for performing at a young age, Wood's natural talent inspired his mother to take him to an International Modeling and Talent Association annual convention in Los Angeles. Soon after, he began to get bookings for small parts on television.
Although his first credit was a small part in Back to the Future Part II (1989), Wood's first major film role was in the 'Barry Levinson' historical family drama Avalon (1990). Following that, Wood became an in-demand child actor, appearing in a number of major films such as Paradise (1991), Radio Flyer (1992) and The Good Son (1993), in which he co-starred with Macaulay Culkin. This was followed by the first role for which he received top-billing, North (1994). Although the film was widely condemned and a disaster at the box office, Elijah was praised as the only good thing to come out of it.
In 1996 Elijah starred in a movie remake of an old TV show, Flipper (1996). Many critics wondered if his ability as a child actor to capture an audience was wearing thin, as had many child actors', but Wood deftly transitioned into a versatile performer with roles such as the endlessly curious Mikey Carver in Ang Lee' ensemble film The Ice Storm (1997), as well as parts in popcorn flicks like Deep Impact (1998) and The Faculty (1998). In 1999, Elijah was in three movies that never made it into wide release: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999) (released on satellite TV), Black & White (1999) (released on home video) and Chain of Fools (2000).
Wood's work in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), provided a major boost to his career. The actor followed his work in the astronomically successful trilogy with a broad range of interesting screen roles and voice work, including a supporting role in Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), as well as the part of a sinister mute sociopath in Sin City (2005). His voice work has been featured in such animated films as Happy Feet (2006) and 9 (2009), as well as on television series including American Dad! (2005) and Robot Chicken (2005). Wood also played Ad-Rock in the Beastie Boys' comedic video for Fight for Your Right Revisited (2011).
An avid music fan, Wood founded Simian records and released its first album, New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples in Stereo, in 2007.
Melissa Joan Hart wanted him to play the male lead in Drive Me Crazy (1999) because she thought it would take some of the pressure off her in her first leading role. However, she was told that he looked too young next to her, and the role went to Adrian Grenier.
Parents' names are Warren and Debbie Wood.
Elijah has an older brother, Zack Wood (b. 1974), who works in video games, and a younger sister, Hannah Wood (born 7th October 1983).
Presented at Academy Awards in place of Macaulay Culkin.
He was the first recipient of the NATO/ShoWest Young Star of the Year Award.
He heard about the Lord of the Rings trilogy while filming The Faculty (1998). Immediately, he sensed that this was the chance of a lifetime. Director George Huang, a personal friend of Wood's, filmed his audition tape for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He shot the scene from different angles which were cut together for the video. They sent the video off to New Zealand for director Peter Jackson and a few months later, he got the part.
Owns one of two prop rings used in "Lord of the Rings." The other went to Andy Serkis, who played Gollum.
As of December 2003, Elijah lived in a New York apartment with his sister Hannah Wood. However, within a few months he moved back into his mother's guest house in Santa Monica, California, where he lived previously, stating he couldn't justify the rent on the apartment since he spent so little time there. He has since moved into his own home in Venice Beach, California.
He became a child model when his mother wanted him to burn off excessive energy.
Admits to owning thousands of CDs in many musical genres, because he loves music so much.
Two of his favorite books are "The Hobbit" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Considers Frodo Baggins to be his best role.
Is the first member of the official "Lord of the Rings" fanclub.
Studies singing professionally.
Suffered acute appendicitis and was briefly hospitalized [August 2003]
Dressed up and rode on a float as the god of wine and mirth to head the Bacchus 2004 parade in New Orleans, Louisiana, for Mardi Gras in February, 2004.
In the original book "The Lord of the Rings," Frodo is 50 years old when he leaves Bag End, which makes him the oldest of the four lead hobbits. Wood is actually the youngest of the four actors.
Loves The Hives.
His favorite movie is Harvey (1950).
His uncle is Turk E. Krause from the band 'Molly Nova and the Hawk'.
Each of the nine Fellowship members got the same tattoo: the number nine written in Elvish. Elijah's is on his pelvic bone on the right side.
Served as the Bacchus of the 2004 Mardi Gras Parade, and returned the following two years.
Received an injury under his eyebrow during the filming of Green Street Hooligans (2005) (aka "The Yank), leaving a visible scar.
Frequently attends the popular annual gaming convention known as E3 (Electronic Entertainment Exposition) which takes places in Los Angeles at the convention center. The week long event features all of the soon-to-be-released games and gaming systems and is open to those working in the gaming industry.
In 2005, he started his own record label, Simian Records.
His favorite actors are Emma Thompson and Tim Roth.
Was number 75 on vh1's "100 Greatest Kid Stars."
Roger Ebert called him "The most talented actor in his age group in Hollywood history.".
Was ranked #16 in E's 50 cutest child stars all grown up (2005).
Godzilla (1998) is his least favorite movie.
His family owned a deli which they sold so they could move to California.
Was ranked #2 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actors list. (2008).
Real-life fan of "West Ham United", the team he played a fan of in Green Street Hooligans (2005) (aka Green Street Hooligans). Other fans include Danny Dyer, Ray Winstone and Matt Damon.
Lives in Venice Beach, California.
He is of English, German, Austrian, and Danish descent.
First person to ever cross Southern Africa's Victoria Falls by rope.
In 2013 he purchased a house in the south Austin, TX neighborhood of Bouldin Creek.
On the 4 September 2013 episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005), Wood said that he was five years old when he watched his first horror movie -- Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986), which was a then-newly released, straight-to-video release. He said that it was what made him fall in love with horror films, that it remains one his all-time favorite horror movies, and that he has introduced it to several of his friends over the years.
New York apartment with his sister Hannah Wood. [December 2003]
Finished filming The Oxford Murders (2008). [March 2007]
Reshooting scenes for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). [June 2003]
Filming Everything Is Illuminated (2005) in Prague. [June 2004]
Day Zero (2007) is completed and is going to be released on January 18th, 2008. [October 2007]
Bought a house in Venice, California. Says he hopes to launch his record label by the end of the year. 
His record label Simian Records released its first album, New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples in Stereo [February 2007]
Beat out 150 actors, including Jake Gyllenhaal, for the coveted role of Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Was considered for the lead role in Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994).
Was the first choice for the lead role in Eragon (2006).
Was considered for the role of Justin Cobb in Thumbsucker (2005), but was deemed too old for the role.
Was considered for the role of Colin Craven in The Secret Garden (1993).
Tested for the lead role of William Miller in Almost Famous (2000).
Since the film Green Street (2005) he became a full supporter of Milliwall Football Club.
Large blue eyes
[on celebrity:] "I won't change and my perspective won't change. I want to continue my life the way I live it, and I'm not going to let anything stop me from doing that. It isn't all about acting. There's a lot more to life than Hollywood."
[on worrying about the high expectations of Lord of the Rings fans when he was cast as Frodo:] "I definitely felt the pressure. I wanted to live up to all of the expectations. But when I got into costume and worked with the others, I just didn't think about it anymore."
If I wasn't an actor, I'd be a secret agent.
I think being different, being against the grain of society, is the greatest thing in the world.
[on concluding filming of LOTR:] Frodo will look more haggard, but not as bad as Gollum. There is a massive transformation, but the journey should have a physical effect on him, which makes sense as I look a lot older than when I started filming. I was 18 then, and it's appropriate that he looks older, too. And if I've done my job right, then you should empathize with him. When it came to the end, I was very emotional. I was heaving, I couldn't breathe, and the last bits of the movie really wrecked me. They gave each actor his own farewell, when we were back there earlier this year. You'd go on to a sound stage and Peter [director Peter Jackson] would make a speech about each actor and then bring in their sword and a clapperboard. It was completely overwhelming. When it came time for me to give a speech, I was so gone I just couldn't do it. I now have the ears, the feet, the sword, the Ring, and one of the maps of Middle-Earth. The whole thing has had a massive impact on us. I think Bill [Billy Boyd] and Dom [Dominic Monaghan] and I are thinking about buying a house here [in New Zealand], because we don't want to lose our connection with the country. It makes most sense to go in on a place because we could use it like a timeshare and then holiday at different times or together. But we're so lazy and completely hopeless at doing things, so it remains to be seen if it'll ever happen. [December 11, 2003]
[after the last press junket for LOTR in New York:] There's a real sense of completion now, because we can look at the entirety of the trilogy and say we've done it, our work is finished. That's a great feeling. And I think that, as it comes to a close, we look to the relationships forged in New Zealand and throughout the experience, and they will carry on. The fellowship will carry on. And that gives us great hope. Our lives will interweave forever. [December 18, 2003]
[on filming the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) in which "Sam" tries to make "Frodo" recall the Shire:] "That day was very difficult and it was a long day. I remember Peter [Peter Jackson] actually crying on set after a few takes. It was a real defining moment for Sean [Sean Astin] and I, not only in this film, but in our acting" [December 14, 2003].
[on New Zealand:] I will go back ... I think Bill [Billy Boyd] and Dom [Dominic Monaghan)]and I are thinking of buying a house together. We don't want to lose our connection with New Zealand - I love the country and I love Wellington and I want to go back. I would love to have a place to live there if I do go back for any period of time. It would just be a time share. It makes the most sense for us to go in on a place, 'cause then we can get a great place. We could be there together and have holidays there, or if I wanted to go there and live there for a little while I could. It just kind of makes sense. Then we could rent it out when we aren't there. That's the idea, anyway. (On hearing this, Billy Boyd said, "Elijah said that, huh? He put a curse on it.") [December 12, 2003]
My philosophy has always been to try to put myself into roles and films that are different. That intensified after 'Lord of the Rings' because it was so massive, but it's something I've always believed in -- wanting to change people's perceptions and challenge myself as an actor.
I don't know that I necessarily feel more comfortable in the context of smaller films, but I tend to feel more comfortable more often than not with the material of smaller films.
Iggy read and approved the script, so we're going to start shooting this year. It's totally awesome. It scares the shit out of me, because I love him. And it's terrifying to play someone so iconic. I would never want to be the one to screw with people's perception of who he was. But that's also why I want to do it. I am genuinely a huge fan, so at least it's in the hands of someone who cares. (On the Iggy Pop biopic "The Passenger", in which Woods will play Iggy Pop, himself).
I really do love making movies and being a part of other people's vision. But Simian [his record label] is coming out of a direct need to do something on my own, to build something from the ground up that has nothing to do with the career that I've established for myself. To face something in your life where you're not being handed responsibility, you're creating it -- I think that's really important.
[on Harvey (1950)] There's an aspect of an imaginary character and relationship there that I find really interesting and love in that film. There's definitely an element of that (in 'Wilfred'). It also helps that the dog smokes pot.
I don't think I can relate to stage fright because I think stage fright is a very specific level of fear that's pretty debilitating. But I can relate to the lack of confidence. It's a pretty human thing. The hardest thing for me [in Grand Piano (2013)] was really the playing. So much of my job was technical.
[hearing that Sean Astin wanted to correct rumors that his character Sam Gamgee had a homosexual love for Frodo] Yeah, we've never had that perspective on the relationship, but there is a real bond and a real closeness. Which was easy for Sean and I because we became so close making the film. So it's a natural thing to display and to show and I think it comes across without any real effort ... Frodo really starts to fail physically and emotionally and mentally, so Sam is there to kind of pick up the pieces and show his affection for Frodo and really almost carry him to the end. So that relationship is really important in this film, particularly. ... I think it's really refreshing and nice. I'm really close with my friends and affectionate, and I don't think that there is anything suspicious about that, necessarily. So it's good to show it and have it be an unisexual thing, definitely.
[on The Faculty (1998)] It was great. That movie was coming at what was the tail end of that Scream-inspired revisit to teenage horror films. Kevin Williamson started a great thing and a bad thing at the same time. That always happens when something really great comes out - there are a million imitators. The Faculty (1998) came in right at the end and I remember getting the script and being aware of that and a little bit wary of jumping into what was such a popular genre and not one I personally loved beyond the ones that established it. But Rodriguez was attached, which I found very exciting because I knew he would do something really interesting with the film. The way it was cast was really smart and there's some great little homages in there. It was a blast. It was a great time. It was an awesome summer in Austin, Texas, making an alien horror movie!
[on his horror/genre production company SpectreVision] - ... I've been a fan of the genre for a long time. I met my producing partners through another project that we were producing together that was not in the horror genre but we became friends and quickly realized that we shared a mutual love and appreciation for horror. A lot of the best films in the last 20 years have come from Europe and other parts of the world. And we were really inspired by those movies as well as films from the '70s and early '80s when it felt like people were taking the genre seriously. I love movies where you can have great storytelling and a great script with a really wonderful cast and yet still tell a compelling, horrific story. Those are the kind of movies that we're inspired by and the kind of movies that we want to make.
[on recently being involved in a lot of genre films as either a producer, actor or both and explaining why that is] - Some of that is aligned with my own autonomy and growth as a human being. I was 16 when I did The Faculty (1998). So I would say the last five or six years of my life feel like a galvanization of my own identity, the things I'm interested in. I've always watched horror movies. For a while, the horror genre in the U.S. - at least, from The Faculty (1998) on - was really a much-maligned genre. It was in dire straights. It came at the end of the Kevin Williamson explosion, when everyone was trying to make a lot of these teen horror films. It carried on for years after that to middling-to-poor results. Then it was fraught with not-great examples of the genre, with the occasional good film.I barely wanted to do The Faculty. The only reason I wanted to do it was because [Robert] Rodriguez was doing it and I knew he'd do something interesting. But that was really coming at the tail-end of that horror film scene. Going into my twenties, I hadn't come across any good horror films. I feel a bit like I'm on the inside looking out now.