James Corden Recalls Auditioning To Play Beloved ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Character

James Corden recently reminded us all that if things had gone differently, he might’ve journeyed to Mordor at Frodo’s side.

“Is it true that one of your first auditions was for ‘Lord of the Rings’?” Josh Horowitz asked the “Late Late Show” host on his podcast, “Happy Sad Confused,” in an episode that aired Tuesday.

When Corden acknowledged that he had indeed auditioned for Peter Jackson’s early-2000s epic fantasy trilogy, Horowitz asked him how it went.

“Not good,” Corden replied, adding that “every single person in London” also tried out for the movies.

“I auditioned for Samwise,” Corden said. “I was doing the accent and everything. ‘Mr. Frodo!’”

Despite his low assessment of his own acting, Corden said he was called back twice for the part.

The role of hobbit Samwise Gamgee ultimately went to Sean Astin, who delivered a standout performance as Frodo’s endlessly loyal friend.

Sean Astin at the "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" premiere in Los Angeles.
Sean Astin at the “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” premiere in Los Angeles.

Corden’s almost-involvement with Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved stories isn’t totally new information: Prior to Corden’s podcast appearance this week, the IMDB page of “The Fellowship of the Ring” had already included a reference to his audition. But judging from the social media response this week, it seems a lot of people are hearing about it now for the first time.

And while it may be strange for fans to imagine Corden in the role, it’s not quite as Middle Earth-shaking as Nicolas Cage’s 2015 revelation that he turned down the role of Aragorn ― the ranger and reluctant king ultimately and famously played by Viggo Mortensen.