Dominic Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, has confirmed a long-standing rumor that full-time music pioneer/part-time actor David Bowie tried to secure a part in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy series. “I was at the Hubbard’s, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for Lord of the Rings,” Monaghan told The Huffington Post. “As I was reading a magazine waiting [after auditioning], David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. 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 [am] lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.”
With all due respect to Mr. Monaghan’s deductive instincts, the part that Bowie was actually reading for was probably Elrond, son of Eärendil, the half-elven Lord of Rivendell. Rumors that the lithe, faerie-like singer was actively campaigning for that role go back to at least 2001, when Jackson explained his casting philosophy to Entertainment Weekly. “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.” But as fun as it may be to imagine the Thin White Duke ruling over an elven city nestled into the rocks beside the Misty Mountains of Middle Earth, it’s probably just as well that the role of Elrond ultimately went to The Matrix’s Hugo Weaving. Casting Bowie as an inscrutable, somewhat magical, not-quite-human character of indeterminate age seems a little too on the nose.