James Corden has revealed that he auditioned to play hobbit Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings film series from director Peter Jackson.
Unfortunately, the process didn’t go particularly well for the Late Late Show host, as he notes in an episode of Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast published on Tuesday. “Everyone, every single person in London auditioned for Lord of the Rings. Everybody,” Corden says in the segment, which you can view above. “I auditioned for Samwise. I put myself on tape. This is before everyone had really their own camera…so you’d go to this casting place, put yourself on tape. And I was doing it, Josh. I was doing the accent and everything.”
Corden said that two of his friends also went in to audition, with all three landing callbacks to take place the next day. “And then we got called back the next day,” Corden recalls. “And then none of us got called back after that.”
The actor landing the role of Samwise — the best friend and sidekick of Elijah Wood’s heroic hobbit, Frodo Baggins — was of course none other than Oscar nominee Sean Astin. But even if Corden missed out on his chance to visit Middle-earth, he can admit that he does “very much enjoy” the epic fantasy films based on the book series by J. R. R. Tolkien.
“I enjoyed it until the last one,” he deadpanned, “and then I was like, ‘Okay, I think I’ve seen this now.’”
Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series was a critically acclaimed box office smash, with the three films collectively grossing over $2.9B worldwide and nabbing 17 Academy Awards. Tolkien’s source material is currently getting new life on screen via The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — an epic prequel series developed for Prime Video by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, which came to the end of its first season in October, around the same time commencing production on its second.
Corden announced back in April that he’ll exit The Late Late Show next spring, after eight and a half years with the late-night staple. He currently exec produces and stars in the British dark comedy Mammals, which bowed on Prime Video in November.
Watch the Lord of the Rings-themed segment from Corden’s edition of the Happy Sad Confused podcast by clicking above.