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Dominic Monaghan Recalls David Bowie’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Audition


The late rock icon David Bowie played numerous memorable movie roles, from the alien in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” to Jareth the Goblin King in “Labyrinth.” However, he also had his all-seeing eye on “The Lord of the Rings.”

Franchise veteran Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry in Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy, recalls actually seeing Bowie at the casting agency.

Having been told his audition went well, Monaghan tells The Huffington Post he decided to wait in the reception area for additional feedback. “As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in,” the actor says, “And I’m assuming he read for Gandalf. I can’t think of anything else he would’ve read for. He may have read for something else, but I’m a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.”

It’s been long believed that Bowie actually read for the role of Elrond, the half-Elven Lord of Rivendell (the part ultimately went to Hugo Weaving). Jackson told “Entertainment Weekly” in 2001 that he purposely chose relative unknowns over stars.

“These are famous, famous characters, loved for nearly 50 years,” he said. “To have a famous, beloved character and a famous star colliding is slightly uncomfortable.”

However, it’s fun to imagine the Thin White Duke as Gandalf the Grey, complete with his oversize hat.


  • VBartilucci

    Wouldn’t it have been hilarious if he’d voiced the King of the Goblins in The Hobbit?

  • JasonMBryant

    “Jackson told “Entertainment Weekly” in 2001 that he purposely chose relative unknowns over stars.”

    And yet, every time Elrond spoke, I silently added, “…Mr. Anderson.”

  • Mr.Mystery

    This makes me sad–Bowie would have made an excellent Elrond :/

  • Picklepuss Dill

    Imagine his rendition of “Down, Down, to Goblin Town”!

    “You go, my lad! Ho, ho! my lad!”

  • Ronin0948

    An intriguing what if, unlike Connery as Gandalf, I could definitely have seen this working.

  • Ben Phillips

    Thats would’ve worked actually, Elrond, GAH. THere’s another alternate reality where that happened (and another where Bowie NEVER dies)