James Corden Auditioned to Play ‘Lord of the Rings’ Hobbit Samwise

James Corden Auditioned to Play ‘Lord of the Rings’ Hobbit Samwise

James Corden has revealed that he auditioned for the role of the iconic hobbit, Samwise Gamgee, in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The actor made the announcement when he spoke with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Variety is reporting.

While appearing on the podcast, Corden was asked if the rumors were true that The Lord of the Rings franchise was one of his first major movie auditions. “Yeah,” he answered before adding that his audition was “not good.”

“Every single person in London auditioned for Lord of the Rings. Everybody,” the actor further shared. “I auditioned for Samwise. I was doing it! The accent and everything!”

While Corden felt his audition wasn’t impressive, despite giving it his all, he revealed that “Two of my other friends went in and we all got called back the next day, and then we got called back the next day. And then none of us got called back after that!”

Corden also noted that almost every actor in London at the time was interested in playing a part in the epic trilogy, which was written and directed by Peter Jackson. “Every single person in London auditioned for Lord Of The Rings. Everybody,” he told Horowitz.

American actor Sean Astin was eventually cast in the role of Samwise, the loyal friend of the franchise’s protagonist, Frodo, who was played by Elijah Wood. Astin won several awards for his performance in the trilogy including a SAG Award and Saturn Award for the series’ final entry, 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Corden was asked during his interview on on the Happy Sad Confused podcast if not getting the part of Samwise effected his love for the film franchise. He joked: “I enjoyed it until the last one [The Return of the King], and then I was sort of like, ‘Oh, ok, I’ve seen this now – I should’ve gone to see Love Actually.” The second sequel in the franchise won all 11 Academy Awards it was nominated for, including Best Picture.

Alhough Corden wasn’t cast in the Lord of the Rings movies, he was eventually cast in other major Hollywood studio tentpoles, including Into the Woods, Ocean’s 8 and Cats, the latter of which became an infamous critical and box office bomb. The actor has also been the host of CBS’ The Late Late Show since 2015, but will be leaving the late-night talk show sometime next year.

Corden isn’t the only late night host who’s a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote the 1954 book that the films are based on. Corden’s CBS counterpart, The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert, is a self-avowed Tolkien super-fan.

Colbert made a small cameo in Jackson’s Hobbit movie trilogy, which serve as a prequel series to The Lord of the Rings films. At San Diego Comic-Con last July, the showrunners of Prime Video’s Rings of Power television show also promised him that they would cast him in the upcoming second season.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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