Wood daunted by film role as poet


Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has revealed playing real people on screen can be “scary” – because he has to live up to the expectations.

The 33-year-old actor, best known for playing hobbit Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s big screen adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s novels, portrays American poet John Malcolm Brinnin in biopic, Set Fire To The Stars.

The drama had its London premiere at the Ham Yard Hotel in the West End tonight, following its premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival earlier this year.

“It’s scary to be playing real people, especially if it’s someone people are familiar with,” he said.

“The expectations of playing someone like Frodo Baggins is very different. The thing about John Malcolm Brinnin is he’s obviously a real man but he’s also a man not many people know of. Or at least it’s very hard to find any biographical information on him.

“So in some ways it allows for some interpretation. There’s not as much expectation as to how I portray the man, which is helpful. At the same time it makes for an interesting approach.”

The US actor continued: “I did my research. I tried to find as much as I could on the man but there’s just very little out there.”

Set Fire To The Stars, which marks Andy Goddard’s debut as a film director, tells the story about poet Dylan Thomas’s first trip to America in the 50s.

Shot in black and white, the film which comes out during celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Thomas’ birth, also stars Celyn Jones, Kelly Reilly, Steven Mackintosh, Kevin Eldon and Shirley Henderson.

Welsh actor Jones, 35, admitted it was a dream come true to play Thomas, referred to as the rock and roll poet.

“This is the film I’ve always wanted to be in,” he said.

“I just really appreciate the man, his poetry and the work. I saw the image of him sitting outside the Vogue studios as a teenager and I thought, ‘who is this guy?’ And then his words spoke to me. They had a lot of meaning.”

He added: “I’m from Wales and am a passionate Welsh man. And I’ll never play for Wales on the rugby team. Some people want to play Hamlet, I want to play Dylan Thomas.”

But he added: “It was an honour but it was also pressure because it’s on me. There are expectations because people love the work and have their own opinions but you have to suppress all that feeling because you have to get to work and do it.”

Set Fire To The Stars will open in UK cinemas on November 7.

Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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