‘Frodo’ backs Scottish independence

Elijah Wood at the film festival. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Elijah Wood at the film festival. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood compared the UK to Middle-earth and told Scots to “go for it” when he was asked about Scottish independence.

The US actor was in Edinburgh posing on the red carpet ahead of the premiere of his new film ‘Set Fire to the Stars’ at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Elijah, known for playing Hobbit Frodo Baggins, was joking with cast members, before he spared a few words for his Scottish fans.

He said: “It’s wonderful to be in Edinburgh. I’ve not been to this festival in many years so I was excited that we were going to be premiering our film here.

“I’ve been here a couple of times before. I love the people, I love the landscapes. Edinburgh’s a really beautiful city. Glasgow is great too.

“I definitely think Scotland is a bit like Middle-Earth - all of the UK kind of is, a bit of England as well, a bit of Ireland.”

And when asked what he thought about Scottish independence, Elijah surprisingly said: “The independence of Scotland? F****** go for it, man!”

‘Set Fire to the Stars’ is a semi-biographical drama based on the life of celebrated Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

The black-and-white film focuses on a week in the life of the writer as he prepares for a series of performed readings in the US.

Elijah Wood plays John Malcolm Brinnin, a mentor-figure who embarks on a turbulent journey with the poet.

Elijah said: “I’m excited, mainly for other people to see it. I’ve seen almost a final cut of it so I’m looking forward to seeing the fully finished version.

“It’s beautifully shot, black and white. We filmed Wales for New York and northern New York.

“It’s just a stylish beautiful film that kind of evokes cinema from times past.

“It’s a movie about Dylan Thomas’ first trip to the US.

“He was notorious man, a heavy drinker and a bit of a whirling dervish of a personality.

“I play John Malcolm Brennan, who was a poetry professor, who was a great fan of Dylan Thomas’.

“My character takes him to a boathouse to get him away from the city and various distractions, but that doesn’t end up calming him down.

“It ends up being this really wonderful relationship between the two.

“I think it’s one of the scenarios a lot of us can relate to. He met his idol and got a lot more than he bargained for.

“We fantasise about these people who we admire for their artistic abilities, but it’s not always a good idea to meet them.”

Director Andy Goddard described Elijah’s performance in the #1million budget movie as a game changer.

He said:: “It was a game changer when Elijah came on board. He got it.

“He loves those traditional 70s buddy movie films, the odd couple dramas which this is very much drawn upon.

“He embraced the low budget and punk DIY way in which we made this film. By the time everything was done the film came in under #1million.

“Elijah just rolled with the punches and he was always on point. He became one of the team.”