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David Bowie Wanted to Be in Lord of the Rings

By B. Alan Orange — January 28th, 2016

Earlier this month, we lost one of the greatest artists of the past century. David Bowie passed away at the age of 69. And he was best known for his music, which spanned many genres and influenced generations to come. But he was also an accomplished actor who worked under some of the biggest names in the business. Now comes word that David Bowie wanted to be a part of the epic sci-fi fantasy adventure The Lord of the Rings.

It isn't known which part David Bowie was eyeing. But it is speculated that he wanted to take on the role of Wizard Gandalf, eventually played by Sir Ian McKellen. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, franchise star Dominic Monaghan, who plays the Hobbit Merry, confirms that David Bowie went in and auditioned for a role.

Dominic Monaghan had gone into Hubbard's casting agency, where he was told to wait around after his audition for additional feedback. It was during this wait that the actor saw the legendary Ziggy Stardust arrive for his own audition. About the experience, Dominic Monaghan recalls this.

"As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I'm assuming he read for Gandalf. I can't think of anything else he would've read for. He may have read for something else, but I'm a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me."

As the actor says, it isn't known whom David Bowie auditioned for. But Gandalf sounds like a character that he certainly could have taken on. Perhaps it's the musician's lead role in the 1986 classic Labyrinth that cost him the part? As the roles are slightly similar.

While he certainly could have played the role, it's now hard to imagine anyone other than Ian McKellen playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. It's also possible that the musician tried out for the role of Saruman. The fact that he even auditioned hints that he really wanted to be in the movie, because someone of his stature doesn't usually read for parts. Of course, he could also have been perfectly suited to play one of the Elves. What do you think? Would The Lord of the Rings been just a little bit cooler had David Bowie gotten a part?

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