To have been in the room where it happened! Well, Lord of the Rings’ Merry was close.
Dominic Monaghan recounted to Huffington Post:
“I was at the Hubbard’s, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for Lord of the Rings, and when it ended I went over and talked to John Hubbard, who was running the audition, and he said, ‘Hey, it went really well. You should wait around for 5 or 10 mins. We’ll give you some feedback.” I thought, ‘Oh, OK, cool, and I sat in the reception office. As I was reading a magazine waiting, 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 was lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.”
Huffpo is quick to point out Bowie more likely auditioned for Elrond, the Elven king role that went to Hugo Weaving. And yeah, Weaving was fine. Sure. Whatever. But, guys, David Bowie could have been in Lord of the Rings! Peter Jackson had a living legend audition for his movie, and was like, “Nah. Gonna go with the bad guy from The Matrix. Thanks for coming in, Ziggy Friggin’ Stardust!”
Apparently Jackson didn’t want to cast anyone too famous in any of the roles because he wanted his audience to be able to look past the actors’ faces and see J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. He told EW in 2001, “These are famous, famous characters, loved for nearly 50 years. To have a famous, beloved character and a famous star colliding is slightly uncomfortable.”
Hm. Yes. I see your point, Peter. But counterpoint:
Kristy Puchko has a new reason to sneer at LOTR trilogy.