2-06-02 Latest News

Elijah on Letterman: Corrected transcript
Tehanu @ 7:43 pm EST

For those of you who missed this interview back in December, TORN put up a transcript. Now thanks to Lisa we have a more accurate version:

From "The Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS)

[Earlier on in the show, when Dave is announcing whoís on the show]

DAVE: Elijah Wood is here this evening. (applause) Heís the star of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". It opens December 9th (mistake!). This is gonna be another one of those blockbuster movies like the Harry Potter Movie.
PAUL: Oh yeah.
DAVE: Itís gonna be a huge, big thing.
PAUL: Oh yeah
DAVE: And heís a kid, heís only like 20 years old. Yeah, when I was 20 I had a paper route.
PAUL: Yes. (laughter and applause)

[Interview with Elijah Wood]

DAVE: Our next guest is a talented actor. He stars in the new epic motion picture "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". It opens December 19th. Hereís Elijah Wood. (applause)

[Elijah comes out, waves to the audience and says "Hello" to them, then shakes Daveís hand and sits down]

ELIJAH: (points to mug on the edge of the desk) Is this for me or is this for you?
DAVE: Itís all yours.
ELIJAH: Oh, cheers, man (takes a sip).
DAVE: How ya doiní?
ELIJAH: Very well.
DAVE: Good.
ELIJAH: Overwhelmed. This movieís coming out; itís the biggest thing Iíve ever been a part of.
DAVE: Well, why donít you tell us a little bit about yourself and then weíll talk all about the film. Youíre... I was right, youíre like, a kid, right? Youíre gonna be 21? Is that right?
ELIJAH: Iím gonna be 21, yeah.
DAVE: Yeah, thatís a kid. (applause)
ELIJAH: Thank you, thank you. Iíve always felt older than I was, so finally I feel like Iím catching up with myself.
DAVE: Tell me about your early life. How did you begin in show business, that kind of stuff; where are you from, whatíd you do?
ELIJAH: Uh, originally from Iowa, actually, um, and IÖ.. (scattered applause)
ELIJAH: Oh! Are there people from Iowa here? Fantastic! Uh, and then I sort of moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning, and one thing led after another.
DAVE: You moved with your family? Is that what you did?
ELIJAH: Yeah, we all moved out together to pursue....
DAVE: And why did the whole family go to California from Iowa?
ELIJAH: Uh, basically for me and my brother to kind of pursue acting, and my brother got out of it early and I kind of kept going, so, here I am.
DAVE: Itís turned out pretty well, hasnít it?
ELIJAH: Pretty well. Iím very lucky.
DAVE: And you did this movie in New Zealand, is that correct?
ELIJAH: I did. I lived there for 16 months, unbelievably.
DAVE: Wow.
ELIJAH: Yeah, it was a life experience.
DAVE: What was....
ELIJAH: It was truly profound.
DAVE: I understand itís physically quite a lovely place, but other than that, what was it like? Just...were you there on your own?
ELIJAH: I was there on my own, had my own house, had my own car. So, aside from making the movie, I had my own life there, which is pretty incredible. And we got out some pretty crazy stuff. I learned how to surf while I was there, which is amazing, and did this thing called parapontingÖ
DAVE: ParaÖ Iím sorry, what is the word? ParaÖ
ELIJAH: Paraponting.
DAVE: Ponting?
ELIJAH: Yes.
DAVE: P-o-n-t-i-n-g?
ELIJAH: I...I think thatís how you spell it, yeah.
DAVE: Iíve not heard of that.
ELIJAH: You get a parachute and you jump off a hill and you kind of ride the uh... the air.
DAVE: Mmmm.... (scattered laughter from the audience, Elijah laughs)
ELIJAH: Exactly.
DAVE: You can also do the same thing by jumping out of a shnook. (laughter)
ELIJAH: A shnook. As... as...I was watching. (applause)
DAVE: Jump out of a shnook.
ELIJAH: A Chinook, as she was saying. Right. (applause)
DAVE: Uh, and the people in New Zealand have a real zest for life, they love that kind of dangerous stuff, donít they?
ELIJAH: They do. They love bungee jumping, jumping out of planes, you know, snowboarding, that sort of thing. I didnít do bungee jumping. I think I was a little too nervous for that. Admittedly.
DAVE: And, you were there, you say, a year and a half, and... and everybody got to know one another, and got along pretty well and you did stuff as a... as a family after a while...
ELIJAH: As a group, yeah. I mean, we really became a fellowship like that in the film.
DAVE: Mmm hmmm...
ELIJAH: Some of the best friends of my life, I made on this, soÖ it was pretty incredible.
DAVE: What kind of things would you do, when you werenít shooting the movie, with your buddies on the film?
ELIJAH: Uh, well, we did the surfingÖ I got a, you know, a wetsuit and a surfboard, got involved in that. A lot of bars, went to a lot of bars, just... (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs) The local pubs, as you do. I got very ingrained in the English culture so, very familiar with that.
DAVE: And....and was there talk of everybody getting tattoos, did that happen? (scattered laughter)
ELIJAH: That did... that did happen. Uh, we became so close on the movie, as a fellowship, we felt that, you know, the experience and the profundity of the experience deserved to be branded physically.
DAVE: Mmm hmm...
ELIJAH: So we all went to a tattoo parlour about a week before we finished and got branded together, which was really incredible...
DAVE: Really?
ELIJAH: And Ian McKellen actually got a tattoo as well.
DAVE: Mmm, and...and uh, you...I donít see it, but...and I donít know if I wanna see it, but you...
ELIJAH: Itís...itís here (points to lower right torso) so I donít think I can show it.
DAVE: And then what...
ELIJAH: I donít think that would be a good idea.
DAVE: And what...what is it? (laughter and shouts from the audience of "show it!"; Dave grins at them)
ELIJAH: Itís actually Elvish, which is the language....
DAVE: You got a tattoo of Elvis?
ELIJAH: No no.... (he laughs, and laughter from the audience). Itís...itís Elvish, which is actually the language of the Elves.
DAVE: Oh, oh, oh, I see.
ELIJAH: And it stands for the...it stands for "nine," the nine members of the fellowship.
DAVE: Was it painful, when that happened?
ELIJAH: REALLY painful, and...and....(laughter). Yeah. And the funny thing about that is...is I was asking various people whoíd had tattoos if it was painful, and they were like "No no no, itís fine, youíre.. youíre gonna be fine."...
DAVE: Yeah... (he laughs)
ELIJAH: My GODÖ. (Dave and audience laugh). Ridiculous. Iíve never been in so much pain in my life.
DAVE: And... and how long before you got over, where....whenever youíd take a shower....you... how long did it take you to get over "Oh, jeez!" that? (looking at his lower right torso).
ELIJAH: Umm...it...it... (he laughs and the audience begins laughing).
DAVE: O God, what is....you know where you got....you know what Iím saying?
ELIJAH: (putting his hand where the tatoo is) The....the "Oh! Itís there."
DAVE: My God. Oh, itís my thing, uh...yeah...
ELIJAH: I know.... I know. It took about... it took about a....a couple of months, I think. (Dave and audience laugh). Iím very proud of it, though. I still look at it when I get out of the shower.
DAVE: Yeah, and uh....(audience laughs).
ELIJAH: (looking at the audience) Sorry. Itís a little personal, I know...I know. (laughter and applause). Take a look down. Forever remember the fellowship.
DAVE: How long do you think you can go in a pool? Nevermind. (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs)
DAVE: Uh, and when is your 21st birthday?
ELIJAH: January 28th.
DAVE: Oh, you got a big celebration planned?
ELIJAH: Um, Iím...Iím thinking about going to Vegas. I think itís time to go to Vegas.
DAVE: Thatís...thatís the thing to do, yeah.
ELIJAH: Absolutely...weíre gonna uh...a prerequisite to wear suits, do the old Rat Pack thing, you know, bring all my friends. I think itíll be good. Lots of debauchery (Dave laughs), lots of drinking. (scattered laughter). As you do.
DAVE: Now this...uh, this movie, as...as you talk about it, youíre very excited, because it...it looks like itís gonna be uh....a very...and has been widely anticipated...
ELIJAH: Mmmm...
DAVE: ... and decidedly so, and itís gonna be an enormous film, so that must be a real thrill for you. Is it already making a difference in....in your life, your daily life?
ELIJAH: Itís...itís kind of scary...
DAVE: Yeah.
ELIJAH: Iíve never been a part of anything quite this big before, so...yeah, a bit. I think, um, actually, while we were still filming, I came home a few times... people were already calling me Frodo, which is the name of my character. So itís...itís starting to have an impact.
DAVE: Mmmm hmmm, and...and is that all right with you, to be called Frodo? (Elijah and audience laugh)
ELIJAH: Iím very familiar with it. Iím...Iíve taken the character on as a piece of me, soÖ.
DAVE: Yeah...
ELIJAH: Thatís all right. You can call me Frodo. (Dave laughs) Go on, Dave, itís okay.
DAVE: (laughing) All right, Frodo. (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs) Whatever you want. Now, letís um...(reaches to the side of his desk to pull out the action figure wrapped in plastic)
ELIJAH: Oh, what do you have there?
DAVE: This looks like it uh...I think itís your action figure, is that right? You...you canít have a movie anymore without an action figure? (takes it out of the package and places it on the desk in front of Elijah) This just looks like a...a chess piece.
ELIJAH: Oh my god.
DAVE: Is that you?
ELIJAH: Is this from Burger King?
DAVE: I donít...I donít...you know I just...(audience begins laughing)
ELIJAH: Okay, but here, I have one question...
DAVE: ...it comes with a deal here....(fumbling with package)
ELIJAH: Why is one foot invisible and the other not? What is that all about? You see this? (pointing to the action figureís feet). Invisible foot....
DAVE: I assumed it was part of the movie.
ELIJAH: No, itís not, actually.
DAVE: Does it....it goes on that thing thereÖ you gotta... you gotta put it on the thing...(struggles to fit figure on its base)
ELIJAH: Oh dear.
DAVE: Some assembly required. (laughter from audience, Elijah tries to help him). Iíll get it. (pulls the toy to the middle of his desk)
ELIJAH: (leaning towards Dave) Put it...put it the other way, the other way around, I think.
DAVE: Just....please, Frodo.
ELIJAH: (puts his hands up and sits back) Alright. Alright. (audience laughs, applause) Just trying to help. (more applause as Dave struggles with the figure; Elijah laughs) You all right, Dave?
DAVE: It...it looks like heís standing on a...a pork chop. I donít knowÖ.(laughter)
ELIJAH: (laughing) It kinda does resemble a pork chop.
DAVE: Is that part of the story? There. (puts the assembled figure, on stand, in front of Elijah)
ELIJAH: There it is.
DAVE: Wow. Thatís a nice piece of work, isnít it? (laughter)
ELIJAH: Very nice.
DAVE: Now, do you get a little uh....a little taste of this, whenever they sell these things? Are you...do you get a piece of it?
ELIJAH: I...I do, Iím...Iíve actually....I went to New Line recently and said "I need to be on the mailing list. I want all the merchandise."
DAVE: Wow.
ELIJAH: I donít wanna be on eBay in 20 years having to search this stuff down. (Dave laughs) Iím a total geek for this stuff. Iíve been collecting action figures for years, so... itís really cool to have my own figure.(Dave continues to struggle with the figure)
DAVE: Whoopsie....alright. I donít know, I uh....
ELIJAH: Oh, come on, get it right! (he laughs, and audience laughs)
DAVE: Uh, letís uh...letís show them a little bit of the movie here. Do you know what the clip is weíre gonna see?
ELIJAH: I...I donít, actually. (looking at Dave)
DAVE: Oh, come on.
ELIJAH: What...what is the clip?
DAVE: You gotta know what the clip is!
ELIJAH: (looking toward the cameras and the audience questioningly) Whatís...whatís the clip?
DAVE: I donít know, Iím not in the movie!
ELIJAH: Uh....itís..... (he laughs, audience laughs)
DAVE: You gotta know!
ELIJAH: Oh, I think Iím being....Iím being....
DAVE: You were in New Zealand for a year and a half, for Godís sake!
ELIJAH: Iím being chased by a Ringwraith. Thatís what it is.
DAVE: Iím sorry....
ELIJAH: Iím being chased by a Ringwraith, a Black Rider. Itís very scary.
DAVE: Okay, here we go, being chased by a Ringwraith. Here we...
ELIJAH: A Ringwraith.
DAVE: Thatís right. Elijah Wood. Take a look.

[clip of "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" - hobbits being chased by Black Rider onto the dock at Buckleberry Ferry]. (applause from the audience)

ELIJAH: Run! (watching and referring to the clip)
DAVE: Wow. (clapping) There you go. All right, well listen, happy birthday.
ELIJAH: Thank you.
DAVE: Enjoy yourself in Las Vegas.
ELIJAH: Thank you.
DAVE: And uh...December twenty....first? Is that what this...
ELIJAH: Dec...uh...December 19th is the release of the film.
DAVE: December 19th, great.
ELIJAH: Yes.
DAVE: Well, good. I know itís gonna be a big hit. Congratulations.
ELIJAH: Thank you very much.
DAVE: Thank you for being here.(they shake hands, cheers and applause)
ELIJAH: Thanks.
DAVE: Elijah Wood everybody. Weíll be right back with Stereophonics.(applause and music)