- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

LONDON — Actress Liv Tyler and young heartthrob Elijah Wood brought the magic of Tolkien's Middle Earth to London late Monday as they stole the show at the world premiere of the first "Lord of the Rings" movie.
The pair cast a spell on a crowd of 2,000 screaming fans as they arrived at the star-studded screening of the 76 million pound ($109 million, 122 million euro) first episode in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The overall budget for the three films was 190 million pounds ($273 million).
Miss Tyler said she was stunned by the reception.
"I've seen nothing like this ever before," she said.
Guests, including fellow stars Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Bean and Christopher Lee, arrived beneath a row of burning rings as they entered the Odeon, Leicester Square.
All agreed that the film would come to be seen as one of the cinematic greats in years to come.
"It's indisputably a landmark in movie history. It's biblical," Mr. McKellen said.
Mr. Lee declared: "I think it will go down in cinema history this and the next two, because no one has ever seen anything like it."
The film, "The Fellowship of the Ring," is the first installment of adaptations for the big screen of the trilogy of books written by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Filming took place over 15 months in New Zealand, and in an audacious move, all three films were shot at the same time to save the hassle and expense of rebuilding the lavish sets.
The movie is a visual piece with incredibly lifelike costumes, enormous sets and state-of-the-art digital effects that create huge armies from nothing.
Actors spent hours each day creating the look for the film.
Mr. McKellen, who plays Gandalf the wizard, pointed out that although the film could make him a worldwide star, few will recognize him.
"Fortunately, I'm so well-disguised in the film, I think I'll be safe walking down the streets." he said.
Mr. Wood, who plays central character, Frodo, said he had to have special feet glued onto his own every morning to perfect the look of a hobbit a mythical inhabitant of Tolkien's fantasy land Middle Earth.
"My feet were the sweatiest of all the hobbits, so my feet were constantly falling off," the star added.

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