What They’ve Done Since (& Where They Are Now)

What They’ve Done Since (& Where They Are Now)


  • The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King had a star-studded solid of each established and up-and-coming actors, a lot of whom have continued to seek out success of their careers.
  • Actors like Elijah Wooden, Sir Ian McKellen, and Karl City used Lord of the Rings as a launching pad for his or her careers, whereas others, like Viggo Mortensen and Andy Serkis, went on to attain even better heights.
  • Some actors, like Sean Astin and John Rhys Davies, skilled a slowdown of their careers after the success of the trilogy, however have not too long ago made comebacks with roles in well-liked TV exhibits like Stranger Issues and The Boys.

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King had an infinite solid full of the largest actors and actresses of the time, and lots of of them are nonetheless discovering success 20 years later. The film was the third installment in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and because it was the fruits of such a large story, it featured a lot of the characters that had appeared within the narrative as much as that time. The ensemble was massively spectacular and massively gifted, brimming with recognizable faces which have since reached even better heights.

Lord of the Rings was an enormous stepping stone for a lot of of those actors, permitting them to actually get their careers began in essentially the most mainstream approach potential. After all, the movie additionally featured loads of veteran names within the business whose careers had been already nicely underway, however it was this combine of recent and outdated expertise that made the challenge so thrilling to look at. As for what proceeded its spectacular field workplace beneficial properties, the film’s stars skilled various ranges of success within the leisure business after Return of the King.

18 Elijah Wooden (Frodo Baggins)

Frodo was the protagonist of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, performed by pretty unknown actor Elijah Wooden. It was the primary recognizable position of his profession, and though it pushed him to large ranges of fame, he’s been pretty conservative within the roles he’s chosen since. His largest characters embrace protagonist Todd in Dirk Gently’s Detective Company and Walter in Yellowjackets. He additionally reprised the position of Frodo for a brief look within the first of Jackson’s variations of The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Sudden Journey.

17 Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf The White)

Gandalf the White standing in front of soldiers in The Lord of the Rings.

Gandalf is a massively essential character all through Tolkien’s works, portrayed within the Lord of the Rings films by British actor Sir Ian McKellen. Outdoors the franchise, McKellen is greatest recognized for his theater work – significantly his roles in Shakespeare performs. Nonetheless, his on-screen profession has been simply as spectacular, showing as the primary antagonist Magneto within the X-Males franchise and even enjoying Gandalf as soon as once more all through The Hobbit trilogy. He additionally had supporting roles in high-profile films reminiscent of Cats and the live-action Magnificence and the Beast remake.

16 Karl City (Éomer)

Eomer talking in the Lord of the Rings

Since showing because the Marshal of Rohan in Lord of the Rings, Karl City has been in a number of nice films together with Star Trek, Thor: Ragnarok, and Dredd. Nonetheless, in recent times, it’s been his position as protagonist Billy Butcher in Amazon’s The Boys that’s given his profession a strong resurgence. The present has reached a excessive diploma of recognition due to its subversive illustration of superhero tradition, which matches in opposition to all the things that audiences are used to – and City’s efficiency particularly actually captures that darkish cynicism that the present is thought for.

15 Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee)

Frodo standing behind Sam as they look serious in Lord Of The Rings

Samwise Gamgee was a fan-favorite character all through Lord of the Rings, and his arc actually peaked in Return of the King as he carried Frodo to the height of Mount Doom and arguably saved Center-Earth. The character was performed by Sean Astin, whose profession started with a breakout position in The Goonies again in 1985. Since Lord of the Rings, Astin’s roles have been a lot much less frequent than the vast majority of his co-stars – till he performed Bob in season two of Netflix’s Stranger Issues. The character solely caught round for a season, however it was nice for audiences to see Astin again on their screens.

14 Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

Viggo Mortensen performed the character of Aragon in Return of the King, the long-awaited King that’s talked about within the title. His arc all through the trilogy was one of the attention-grabbing to comply with, and Mortensen all the time discovered new methods to carry the character to life. Compared to his co-stars, he’s had one of the profitable careers within the aftermath of Lord of the Rings, starring in loads of films reminiscent of Captain Improbable and Inexperienced Guide. The actor even secured an Oscar nomination for his lead position within the latter.

13 Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Gollum creepily smiling in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Though Andy Serkis was famously mocked for enjoying Gollum, the actor clearly took this character in his stride and has since stuffed an especially invaluable area as Hollywood’s go-to identify for motion-capture performances. He’s performed iconic roles reminiscent of Supreme Chief Snoke within the Star Wars sequels, Caesar within the Planet of the Apes trilogy, and Baloo in Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. On the live-action aspect, he additionally portrayed the characters of Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther and Kino Loy in Andor.

12 John Rhys Davies (Gimli)

Gimli talking in Lord of the Rings

John Rhys Davies is one other actor whose profession was already in its prime earlier than Lord of the Rings. Previous to starring within the iconic trilogy, Rhys Davies had already performed characters reminiscent of Sallah in Raiders of the Misplaced Ark and Professor Arturo in Sliders. Gimli was arguably the actor’s final enormous position, as his profession slowed down significantly after Return of the King. He notably returned to the Indiana Jones franchise as Sallah for a short look in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Future in 2023.

11 Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Close up of Arwen looking at Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings

Previous to enjoying Arwen in The Lord of the Rings films, The vast majority of Liv Tyler’s most well-known roles got here within the late Nineteen Nineties. Nonetheless, the success of Lord of the Rings really led to her being solid as Betsy Ross in The Unimaginable Hulk – a task that she’ll be reprising in Captain America: Courageous New World over 15 years later. In between that point, Tyler has appeared in a small variety of productions, together with her largest challenge from this era being Advert Astra.

10 Miranda Otto (Éowyn)

Eowyn looking over her shoulder in The Lord of the Rings

Regardless of in the end ending up with Arwen, Aragorn was an incredible romantic match for Éowyn, and lots of of their scenes collectively in Return of the King show that. Her character might need been underused in the long run, however Miranda Otto’s efficiency ensured that she was simply as memorable as the opposite girls of the films. Since Return of the King, Otto has starred in loads of acclaimed initiatives reminiscent of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Discuss to Me, the place she’s all the time been a standout member of the solid.

9 Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck)

Merry and Pippin drinking on the ruins of Isengaard in The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King (1)

The character of Merry Brandybuck, one other of the hobbits who was part of the unique Fellowship of the Ring, was performed by Dominic Monaghan. For the reason that success of the trilogy, Monaghan has performed varied different characters together with Charlie in Misplaced and Seth in Pet. The actor continues to debate his time engaged on Lord of the Rings and is an energetic participant in conventions and on-line discussions with followers.

8 Billy Boyd (Pippin Took)

pippin drinking ent draught

Merry’s greatest good friend Pippin was performed by Billy Boyd in all three Lord of the Rings films. His most notable work exterior of the three films was the position of Glen in Seed of Chucky, which was launched the next yr. Very similar to Monaghan, Boyd is an energetic member of the Tolkien fandom and embraces his historical past within the films.

7 Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Orlando Bloom as Legolas Greenleaf Lord of the Rings The Return of the King Ending

Even when Lord of the Rings was first launched, Orlando Bloom was already one of the well-known members of the ensemble solid. However within the years that adopted, Bloom soared to new ranges of recognition due to his starring position as Will Turner within the Pirates of the Caribbean films. There have been many different actors that nearly performed Will Turner, however Bloom’s fame – due to Lord of the Rings – certainly performed a big position in his casting. Since then, he’s appeared in loads of different films together with Kingdom of Heaven and Gran Turismo. Moreover, Bloom starred in Amazon Prime Video’s two-season sequence, Carnival Row, which wrapped up in March 2023.

6 Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Galadriel looking serious in Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Cate Blanchett is one other member of the Lord of the Rings solid who was already pretty well-known earlier than the trilogy reached its peak, however her stardom has solely elevated since then. She appeared briefly all through the films as a strong elf named Galadriel, however since then, she’s adopted roles reminiscent of Hela in Thor: Ragnarok and Irina Spalko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Cranium. She’s nearly been nominated on the Oscars eight instances, successful twice for Blue Jasmine and The Aviator.

5 Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Elrond and Glorfindel in The Lord of the Rings Return of the King

Hugo Weaving performed Elrond, the chief of the elves, all through the Lord of the Rings films. The actor has a robust theatrical background and has been starring in performs for over 5 many years now, however his on-screen profession additionally picked up after the success of Lord of the Rings. He landed essential roles as V in V For Vendetta and Crimson Cranium in Captain America: The First Avenger, each of which rapidly grew to become iconic characters. Most not too long ago, Weaving has been spending his time enjoying lead roles in Australian movies.

4 John Noble (Denethor)

A close of image of Denethor from The Lord of the Rings.

John Noble performed Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, in Return of the King earlier than gaining much more fame for his position as Walter Bishop within the long-running tv present Fringe. The actor additionally joined The Boys in 2020, inflicting a Lord of the Rings reunion by enjoying the daddy of Karl City’s character Billy Butcher. Though many followers argue that the Lord of the Rings film ruined Denethor’s loss of life, there’s no denying that Noble made the character stand out together with his iconic efficiency.

3 Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm)

Frodo and Bilbo together in The Return of the king

Bilbo Baggins doesn’t have an enormous position in Return of the King, however it’s made memorable by the presence of display screen legend Ian Holm. The actor was beforehand recognized for his starring position in traditional films Alien, Chariots of Hearth, and The Fifth Aspect, however Bilbo Baggins rapidly grew to become his most beloved character. Holm adopted up the Lord of the Rings trilogy with initiatives reminiscent of Ratatouille and The Day After Tomorrow, earlier than sadly passing away in June 2020.

2 David Wenham (Faramir)

Faramir looks on in Lord of the Rings

Faramir was the second son of Denethor, performed by David Wenham. The actor acquired loads of popularity of his iconic efficiency, which led to his casting in loads of mainstream films reminiscent of 300 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Lifeless Males Inform No Tales, the place he performed The Narrator and Scarfield respectively. Wenham additionally made an look in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic as Hank Snow.

1 Bernard Hill (Theoden)

Theoden looking up at Eowyn as he dies in Lord of the Rings.

Theoden was the King of Rohan in each The Two Towers and Return of the King, performed by British actor Bernard Hill. Earlier than starring within the beloved trilogy, Hill was recognized for his appearances in Titanic and Shirley Valentine, having already confirmed himself to be a gifted and well-regarded actor. Within the aftermath of Lord of the Rings, he continued to land main roles – largely in British TV sequence. These included Samuel in From There To Right here, Father Greaves in Unforgotten, and Len Russell in Hope and Wire.

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