With a budget of around $300 million, the Lord of the Rings franchise was one of the biggest film projects of its time. While most directors wait to see the box office numbers in order to greenlight a sequel, all three films in the series was shot simultaneously in New Zealand. Luckily for director Peter Jackson, the film became a box office success; all three movies in the trilogy have earned a combined $3 billion.
We’re taking a look at the whereabouts of the franchise’s stars since the original trilogy ended in 2003.
The first person on the list spends their time rocking out with a former Guns ‘N Roses member.
10. Viggo Mortensen
While filming The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in the trilogy, managed to break a tooth and two toes in two seperate incidents. When he’s not busy getting nominated for his various roles, the New York City native works on his music and poetry. In 2011, he released Reunion, which is his ninth collaboration album with former Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Buckethead.
9. Miranda Otto
Australian actress Miranda Otto earned the role of Éowyn when Alison Doody had to drop the role due to a pregnancy. Otto herself had to slow down with the acting to take care of her family back home. In 2016, it was revealed that she would be the female lead of the Fox series 24: Legacy.
8. Cate Blanchett
Before playing Galadriel, Cate Blanchett landed the role of Bard the Bowman in the Methodist Ladies’ College production of The Hobbit in 1986. Over the years, the actress has used her fame to help support various causes and organizations; she is an ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, Australian Conservation Foundation, and Australian Film Institute.
The next cast member became an ordained minister to help his best friend tie the knot.
7. Sir Ian McKellen
When it came to getting into character, Sir Ian McKellen listened to audio of author J.R.R. Tolkien reading Gandolf lines. Since 2012, McKellen has been an honorary board member of Only Make Believe, which creates plays for children’s hospitals across the country. He is currently making everyone jealous with his friendship with X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart.
6. Sean Astin
Much like co-star Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin experienced some pain during filming; while shooting one particular scene in The Fellowship of the Ring, he accidentally stepped on a chunk of glass, which sent him to the emergency room to get stitches. In The Return of the King, his real life daughter Alexandra played his onscreen daughter Elanor Gamgee. Kids today probably know Astin best as Raphael in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.