James Corden Auditioned for ‘Lord of the Rings’ to Play Samwise, Says He Got Two Callbacks: It Was ‘Not Good’

Sean Astin’s performance as Samwise Gamgee represents the beating heart of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. It’s an iconic performance for many fans, capped off by Astin’s powerful Mount Doom speech in which Samwise tells Frodo, “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” Suffice to say, Jackson’s “Rings” movies would feel far different without Astin in the role. Perhaps that’s why “Lord of the Rings” fans are buzzing over James Corden’s recent revelation that he sought out the role of Samwise.

Corden appeared on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast and was if the rumors were true that “The Lord of the Rings” was one of his first major film auditions. “Yeah,” Corden answered, adding that his audition was “not good.”

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“Every single person in London auditioned for ‘Lord of the Rings.’ Everybody,” Corden said. “I auditioned for Samwise. I was doing it! The accent and everything! ‘Mr Frodo!'”

“Two of my other friends went in,” Corden added, “and we all got called back the next day, and then we got called back the next day. And then none of us got called back after that!”

When asked if failing to get the part of Samwise effected his love for the movies, Corden joked, “I enjoyed it until the last one, and then I was sort of like, ‘Oh, ok, I’ve seen this now — I should’ve gone to see ‘Love Actually.'”

Although Corden missed out on “The Lord of the Rings,” he would eventually find himself cast in major Hollywood studio tentpoles such as “Into the Woods,” “Ocean’s 8” and “Cats,” the latter being an infamous critical and box office bomb. Corden has been the host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show” since 2015. He’ll be leaving the program sometime in 2023.

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