When we asked Elijah Wood for restaurants he’d like to be photographed at in Los Angeles, he took some time to decide. The actor is a foodie at heart, and after much deliberation decided to take us for Neapolitan pizza in LA at Mother Dough, his favorite.
Wood’s most recent project, a thriller called Open Windows, was released this past Friday, and us fantastical potato-heads of course couldn’t help but still be starstruck by the lead of the Lord of The Rings trilogy. After wrapping up Wilfred, Wood has a number of projects in the works, one being eating his way around LA – and the rest of the world (he was off to Istanbul the day after we sat down with him). Peruse the interview for his favorite food haunts, LOTR memories, advice from Peter Jackson and pre and post shoot habits…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
There are so many different combinations that I could choose that would make for an ideal day of eating. I’ll choose one city: Austin, Texas.
Breakfast: Breakfast taco with chorizo.
Lunch: Smoked Duck Pastrami sandwich from Noble Sandwich.
Dinner: Ramen Tatsu-Ya, where I’d order a Munchie Katsu Slider (I dream of this) and Tonkotsu Original ramen with a Spicy Bomb.
A pre and post shoot habit that hasn’t changed since your LOTR days…
I don’t really tend to have a strict habit that I stick to before and after shooting. Pre shooting tends to be about preparation. Post shooting, once home, I become a bit hermetic for the first few days to decompress from the experience.
Most important memory from LOTR…
There are so many vivid and incredible memories of the entire experience, but the first two months of rehearsals and prep prior to starting principal production really stand out – all of us standing on the precipice of an adventure we’d all be taking together, and the kinetic bonding enthusiasm that united us as a family.
Best quote a director has ever said to you…
One of my favorites is from Peter Jackson, who said to me in reference to an emotional moment for Frodo, “I want you to scare the audience.” I love it because it was so clear, yet abstract in that it wasn’t specific to the thoughts of the character. I knew exactly what he meant.
What’s next for you now that Wilfred has ended?
Open Windows, a technological thriller I worked on with Nacho Vigalondo that takes place entirely on a computer screen. It will be released in theaters this month. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, an extraordinary Iranian vampire film my production company Spectrevision was involved in producing, was released in October. I’ve just started working on a film called The Last Witch Hunter. We’ve also just finished production on another Spectrevision film, The Boy, which is an intimate examination of a young boy’s early psychopathic behavior. We’re about to start on another film called Curse the Darkness, an anthropological zombie film set against the backdrop of migrant workers in Louisiana, directed by Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are).
What do you usually snack on, on set?
I don’t tend to snack too much, but if I do, it’s usually nuts or some kind of trail mix. I have a habit of bringing chocolate to set for people to eat as well.
What do you always have with you on a set no matter what?
I always travel with music.
How do you usually prepare for a role?
I read the script a fair amount, and get a strong feeling for who the character is and what I can bring to him. I suppose it takes further shape within the context of the process and the environment of the film. That sounds a bit vague, I realize! It really can be quite different each time depending on various elements, such as if the character is a pianist, or European, etc. However, it always starts from the same place.
What’s your dream role?
I don’t know if I have a dream role specifically. I’m always looking for new experiences and challenges. Ultimately, I’m most often moved by exciting material, and a director whom I’m keen to work with.