Viggo Mortensen did a great job playing Aragorn (aka Strider or Elessar) in The Lord of the Rings if you ask us and we cannot imagine anyone else in the role. However, things could have been very different if some other actor was chosen before Viggo was approved. We present to you the five actors who almost played Aragorn – one of the main and most influential characters in the epic and multiple Oscar-winning trilogy.
1. Daniel Day-Lewis
One of the first Peter Jackson’s picks was Daniel Day-Lewis. However, the actor turner down the offer multiple times. It is public knowledge that he is not really into big budget blockbusters. In one interview he explained: “I wouldn’t really want to be involved in making films I wouldn’t want to go and see … When I’m working on something I’m intrigued by, I’m never bored. I’m incapable of being bored. And if I found myself working on a film and during the course of that work I was bored, because I didn’t really know what the hell I was involved in, I would find that infinitely demoralizing and it might well make me decide to pack my bags.”
2. Stuart Townsend
Stuart Townsend was actually picked for the role and did two months of training. However, when the filming was supposed to start, Jackson changed his mind about him. He felt that he was too young for the role as he was in the late twenties. Aragorn on the other hand was supposed to be 87-year old, although he was Dunedain – a race of Men who lived three times longer.
3. Russell Crowe
Another top pick of The Lord of the Rings director was Russel Crowe. However, he turned it down because of prior commitments, but also because the the film’s budget was under pressure and the producers wanted to pay him 10 per cent of the profits instead of an upfront fee. Crowe might regret his choice as the movie made almost 3 billion dollars.
4. Nicolas Cage
The role of Aragorn was also offered to Nicolas Cage. The actor said that he wanted to take it, but turned it down because of personal reasons. He said “There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years. And I do mean it. I get to enjoy the movies as an audience member, because I don’t watch my own movies.” Cage was referring to his divorce situation and the raising of his son.
5. Vin Diesel
The star of The Fast and the Furious is said to be a great Tolkien fan. He even auditioned for the role, but he was never offered the part. Vin Diesel did not fit well in the portraying of Aragorn and the producers went down a different road.