Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry in the movies, explains why Aragorn was recast just before filming began.

Lord of the Rings Star Dominic Monaghan explains Aragorn’s recast during the weeks leading up to the production of The Fellowship of the Ring. The role of Aragorn is one of the most important in the entire trilogy and was offered to a few well-known stars by director Peter Jackson before initially casting Stuart Townsend. Jackson asked Daniel Day-Lewis to come on board as heir to the throne of Gondor, but he refused. The role was then offered to Nicolas Cage, who also turned it down.

Vin Diesel, a fan of the books, auditioned for the role of Aragorn, but the role eventually went to Townsend, who was infamously replaced just days before filming began. In search of a replacement, Russell Crowe was considered for the role, but he too turned it down, feeling that the role was too similar to his role in Gladiator. Day-Lewis was offered the role a second time, but turned it down again, leading to the casting of Mortensen, who is now irrevocably associated with the character and the movies.

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Related: Lord of the Rings: Why Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn Didn’t Return for The Hobbit

Monaghan revealed to Manchester evening news that the recast came as a surprise to most of the cast. The cast were told that Townsend would no longer be working on Lord of the Rings, but the crew wouldn’t tell them why at the time. Monaghan says: “We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Stu, “as it all happened so fast. During pre-production, Jackson began to doubt Townsend’s ability to play the role of Aragorn due to his youth and, when he left production, the rest of the cast were upset and unable to communicate to Townsend at the time due to the lack of email and cell phones available at the time in New Zealand.

It went really fast. I think he was probably sad about the result. Obviously I can’t speak for him, but we were on set and we were nearing the end of the first week and producer Barrie Osborne had said to the four hobbits’ can you wait to finish because Peter and I want to talk to him? you about something. ‘

And in my naivety I thought they were going to say that we had a great week, that we love what we are seeing, I love you, have a great weekend, blah blah blah. And sadly they said that Stuart had left the project.

We were all stunned, I didn’t think they could fire us at the time, I thought you were in But it was not the case. And be [Astin] He said ‘well, have you left the project or have you been fired?’ And I think they were trying to protect Stuart as much as they could. They just said ‘we’ll let Stuart tell you, but he’s not with us anymore.

We were unable to contact him. Email was very new at the time. It just disappeared.

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By now, Mortensen’s turn as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings has become synonymous with movies and ultimately propelled the actor to a new level of stardom. While Mortensen had been working in the industry for quite some time before landing the role of Aragorn, most of those roles had been in a support capacity. With Lord of the Rings, Mortensen took center stage and brought a new layer to the movies.

Mortensen’s commitment to the role of Aragorn is well known – the actor walked the set in character – and that translated into his intense and emotional performance on screen. It is safe to say that the Lord of the Rings The movies wouldn’t be the same without Mortensen’s dedicated acting, but Townsend’s firing is an interesting look at the arduous process of bringing this massive trilogy to the big screen.

More: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Recasting Mirrors The Original’s Aragorn

Source: Manchester evening news

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