Uma Thurman: Turning down Lord of the Rings was ‘worst decision I ever made’

Regrets. Uma Thurman has a few.

One of the biggest being that time is that when Uma Thurman turned down that role in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.

The actress revealed her decision to Stephen Colbert, a renowned fan of Peter Jackson’s fantasy series, this week.

She was set to play Eowyn, the unrequited love of Aragorn, played the Australian actress Miranda Otto in both ‘The Two Towers’ and ‘The Return of the King’.


“Yes. It was a very long time ago, and I do consider it one of the worst decisions ever made, says Uma Thurman.

“But I had just had my first child, and I just – I don’t know, I was a little housebound… It’s really definitely a regret.”

Previously, it had been thought that Thurman turned down the role of Arwen, the half-elven daughter of Elrond and which was scooped up by Liv Tyler.

But while she might have regretted the decision, she joins a venerable group of actors who were set to appear in the epic movies, but then did not.

David Bowie was in line to play Gandalf, as was Sean Connery, who was said to have turned down a staggering $30 million to play the wizard.

He admitted some years later: “I read the script, I saw the movie. I still don’t understand it. Ian McKellen, I believe, is marvelous in it.”

Christopher Plummer was also up for Gandalf, while Daniel Day-Lewis was offered Aragorn, the part which went to Viggo Mortensen.

Nicolas Cage was also said to be option for the role of Aragorn


Speaking about that role, as well as that of Neo in The Matrix—another role Cage says he was offered—the man who would’ve been King of Gondor admits they were roles he “probably would have benefited from if circumstances in my life allowed me to make them.” But don’t worry, because the upshot is that those movies can now be watched and enjoyed by him, because they don’t star Nick Cage.

But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings.”

He says his life at the time precluded him from “being able to travel and be away from home for three years.” Which, sure, family life and children and precious gift and blah blah blah—that’s no excuse for denying us the treat of watching the actor grimace, probably with a manic light in his eyes, while delivering an utterly bizarre line reading of, “By nightfall, these hills will be swarming with orcs.” We can picture it now, and it’s glorious.