Glasgow’s Global Visitors: Elijah Wood

Name: Elijah Wood

Born: 28th January 1981 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Credits include: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The RingEternal Sunshine Of The Spotless MindGreen Street

Reason for visiting Glasgow:

One of the happier real-life stories to come out of Hollywood in recent years has been the warm friendship that blossomed between the hobbit portraying co-stars of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan.

In December 2010 Glaswegian Boyd married his long term partner Ali McKinnon at Oran Mor, on the corner of Great Western Road and Byres Road. Both Wood and Monaghan attended the wedding. Elijah Wood was photographed by press walking up Byres Road with Billy Boyd and his son Jack, and on the steps of the venue with the other actors.

Stunt Double: The Purifiers

the purifiersthe purifiers 2I’ve decided to classify this post as “stunt double” as although there are settings in The Purifiers that are distinctly Glaswegian, Glasgow is never actually named in the movie and is referred to throughout simply as “the city”. Furthermore “the city” does appear to be a mash up of Glasgow and other British filming locations – Milton Keynes being one of those.

This 2004 film stars Kevin McKidd, Gordon Alexander, Dominic Monaghan and Amber Sainsbury and is described as “the story of martial arts clubs who have created their own city infrastructure after tiring of government initiatives”.

I feel pretty lazy lifting straight from the DVD cover to give a description but to be honest find this a tough one to write about – largely due to being pretty uninspired by it. Regular readers of Glasgow on Film will know that I am not  a film critic by trade – I am someone who simply likes films, and at that certain types of films more than others. I post here about links between Glasgow and movies, and not to nominate any critical comments – positive or negative – that I do make as being expert evaluations. For example, I didn’t have much to say about The House Of Mirth as it is not “my kind of film”, however I was a little bit savage about Postmortem and Tezz – that’s because I feel even as a layman that I’ve seen enough cop movies to distinguish between good and rubbish.

So I’m sorry to say, particularly as this is more of a homegrown production than Postmortem and Tezz, that The Purifiers bored me. Alexander as the leader of the good guys, McKidd as the leader of the bad guys and a repetitive loop of running around darkened shopping precincts and fighting, laced with conversation that unfortunately didn’t hold my attention very well. The plot actually put me in mind of some 1990s video games, but the beauty of the games was that they engaged the player – it’s different when all you can do is sit and watch. That’s about as much as I can say about it.

For Glasgow’s part in the film, there are some good opening views around the Clydeside featuring the Glasgow Science Centre and the Clyde Auditorium, while the Glasgow Subway features prominently too.

Movie Glaswegians: Billy Boyd

billy boydBilly Boyd’s first onscreen appearance was in a 1996 episode of television’s Taggart – since then his acting journey has been one of the more remarkable ones to come out of Glasgow. He has continued to appear on the small screen, from a cameo in an early Still Game episode to an appearance in Casualty as recently as 2012, but it is within his film credits that you will find the most interesting range of roles.

Boyd is a familiar face in homegrown movies, including On A Clear Day, The Flying Scotsman and Stone Of Destiny, as well as the previously featured Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy. In Hollywood he has appeared in the sublime (Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World, alongside Russell Crowe) and the ridiculous (Seed Of Chucky, voicing the son of the murderous Child’s Play doll).

It is for his role as Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy however that he is best known – Pippin, one of the ‘Hobbits’, was a key character in the blockbuster saga whose instalments were released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Boyd developed a firm bond with his fellow Hobbits played by Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan and Sean Astin during production of the movies, so much so that the former two attended his wedding at Oran Mor on Byres Road in 2010. Onscreen of course these genuine Hollywood friendships created great chemistry.

Billy Boyd was born in Glasgow on 28th August 1968 – the popular actor often appears younger than his years, perhaps partly due to his association with the role of Pippin, but maybe also due to his other job as frontman of the band Beecake. Boyd’s acting career was shaped in Glasgow, where he graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He lives in the city with his wife and son.