Junior meets Elijah Wood
To mark the release of Happy Feet 2 on DVD, we caught up with its fresh-faced star, Elijah Wood
What do you think are the major talking points of the film?
The movie has some beautiful themes. Ultimately, Erik comes to realise that it’s our differences that make us special, and that’s good for children to understand. I also like that he believes that he can fly – he’s not afraid to believe in the impossible. And his father Mumble (voiced by Elijah) is in this tough situation, not wanting to crush his child’s dreams.
In the film Erik has an embarrassing moment… Could you share one of your embarrasing moments with us? He wees all over himself, doesn’t he? I too have weed on myself, twice in my life. I was four or five years old and at a family gathering. I was too embarrassed to ask to use the toilet so I peed myself. I had to be taken home early and that was not fun. And then in the first grade it was the same kind of situation. I was afraid to ask and when I did ask I stood up and peed in class. I was wearing overalls – it was very embarrassing.
What can you do in such embarrassing moments?
I think you have to own it, use it against everyone else. If you’ve weed yourself, be like “I weed myself!” If you can laugh at yourself, you are beating everyone else to the punch.
What similarities are there between you and you character Mumble? Like Mumble, who still has his sheen of downy fuzz, I don’t think I age that quickly. I’ve just been back to New Zealand to film The Hobbit and I don’t think I’ve aged that much since we rapped on Lord Of The Rings eight years ago.
You’ve recently turned 30 and started your acting career early. What’s it like looking back over the years?
In some ways, my work as an actor as a child and my work as an actor now feels so separate and different. To look back at it as a body of work and think it’s been 22 years is kind of extraordinary. If I see any of my old films now, it’s almost like watching a different person.
The Lord Of The Rings was a big part of your life for a long time. What was it like when it came to an end? We were shooting Rings for so long that by the end I didn’t know what normal life was like any more. My life was defined by living in New Zealand, working to the schedule. By the end I was exhausted. I wanted to do nothing and sleep in.
The film The Hobbit is out later this year. What was filming like? There was a really mix of emotions. It was slightly surreal, oddly normal… I’d played the character of Frodo for so long and there I was back in Bag End, back in costume. A lot of the same crew from The Lord Of The Rings were there. It was great, like a big family reunion.
Happy Feet 2, PG, is out on DVD and Blu-ray on March 26. Read our interview with Elijah's Happy Feet 2 co-star, Robin Williams.
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