The cast of The Lord of the Rings 2003 – celebrities then and now

Who doesn’t remember the legendary fantasy adventure movie The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King? The plot of this film started following the story of its previous movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The New Zealander director Peter Jackson directed the film. It was released worldwide on December 1, 2003 and grossed $1.146 billion at the box office.

The audience loved each character in this movie, and as a consequence, this film was nominated for numerous significant accolades, along with the 76th Academy Awards and the British Academy Awards.

Elijah Wood – played Frodo Baggins

Elijah Wood was 22 years old when he performed the role of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit. Despite playing the leading character in the film, Wood did not get or win any significant award for his performance as Frodo Baggins

Elijah Wood then and now

Elijah is 41 years old today. Wood later appeared in other films including Spy Kids 3D: Game Over, Happy Feet, and Maniac. Elijah is currently preparing to begin filming in L.A. Rush, which will premiere soon.

Sean Patrick Astin – played Samwise Gamgee

Sean Patrick Astin performed the role of a loyal hobbit, Samwise Gamgee, who was faithful to Frodo Baggins and never left his side. When Sean was cast for The Lord of the Rings film, Sean was 32 years old.

Sean Patrick Astin Then and Now

Now he is 51. After The Lord of the Rings, Sean did numerous movies like 50 First Dates, Click, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and so on. His other renowned project, portraying Bob Newby, Joyce’s lover, in the second and third seasons of the Netflix original series Stranger Things, stole millions of hearts. 

Sean received various honors, including the Young Artist Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.

Liv Tyler – performed Arwen Undomiel

The character Arwen Undomiel in the film was played by Liv Tyler. She was 26 years old back then. Unfortunately, playing the character of Arwen didn’t secure Tyler any awards or nominations.

liv tyler then and now

This beautiful model and actress played the character Betty Ross in Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk in 2008. Tyler is now 45 years old and busy shooting for her upcoming projects.

Ian McKellen – Played Gandalf

Ian McKellen, 64, portrayed Gandalf in the film. A wizard, who assisted the fellowship’s formation and survival. Despite playing the lead in this movie, McKellen did not receive any accolades.

Ian McKellen Then and Now

McKellen starred in many films including Richard III (1995), Gods and Monsters (1998), the X-Men films, and The Hobbit trilogies. He won several renowned accolades for his outstanding performance, including the Tony Award, Laurence Olivier Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. 

In addition, he received nominations for four BAFTAS, two Academy Awards, and five Primetime Emmy Awards. Currently, this 83-year-old veteran is taking a break from acting.

Karl Urban – Played Eomer

Karl Urban performed Eomer, the leader of the Rohans’ Riders and subsequently King of the Mark. This New Zealander actor was 31 years old when he acted in this fil

Karl urban now and then

He featured in The Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy, and Doom immediately after The Return of the King. 

In 2009, he portrayed Leonard McCoy in Star Trek. He is now starring as Billy Butcher in The Boys, an Amazon Original series. Karl Urban has aged 50 now.

Viggo Mortensen – Played Aragorn

Viggo Peter Mortensen, a Danish-American actor, played the role of Aragorn. Aragorn was Isildur’s successor, Arathorn’s son, and the future king of Gondor. He is one of the Fellowship members who leads the war against Sauron’s army in this film.

Viggo did an excellent job of depicting Aragorn’s character. He was 45 years old when he signed the contract with The Return of the King’s director.

viggo mortensen then and now

Mortensen also served as a director, producer, singer, and multimedia artist. He directed and scripted his first drama film, Falling, in 2020.

He has been nominated three times for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his roles in Eastern Promises (2007), Captain Fantastic (2016), and Green Book (2018). 

Mortensen is now 63 years old and is getting ready to shoot Thirteen Lives and Eureka.

Orlando Bloom – Played Legolas

Orlando Bloom, 26, played a wood elf named Legolas as well as the master archer. Legolas joined the Fellowship and became great friends with Gimli, a dwarf. In this film, he is also characterized as an arrow-wielding hero.

For his performance in this film, Bloom did not get or win any notable awards.

Orlando bloom then and now

Orlando Bloom’s other major projects were Troy (2004), The Three Musketeers (2011), and Carnival Row, an Amazon original series.

We have seen Bloom as Will Turner in all four series of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Orlando is now 45 and his most recent project was giving the voice of Prince Harry in The Prince, an HBO animated comedy movie about the royal family.

Hugo Weaving – Played Elrond

Hugo Weaving played the character of Elrond, an elf and the Lord of Rivendell. Elrond was present when Isildur claimed the One Ring. He tried to convince the lord of Rivendell to destroy it but weren’t successful.

Hugo was 43 years old when he was featured in the film The Return of the King.

Hugo weaving then and now

This actor’s other hit film was The Matrix, playing the role of Agent Smith. This franchise ran during the year of The Lord of the Rings movies.

His other acclaimed roles were V in V for Vendetta (2006) and Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avengers (2011).

The 62-year-old English actor was most recently seen in the miniseries Love Me (2021) and is gearing up for the upcoming The Royal Hotel.


The Lord of the Rings trilogy has been a box office hit especially The Return of the King episode. Though it has received several awards and accolades, its cast did not receive acknowledgments accordingly. However, the actors/actresses marked their acting talent in the film and gave us many popular films.

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