The Lord of the Rings: the big allergy to prostheses of one of the stars of the saga

The Lord of the Rings: the big allergy to prostheses of one of the stars of the saga

Clement Cuyer

Clement Cuyer


Clément Cuyer appreciates all genres, from good hard-hitting horror films to schoolboy comedy. He is an “old man” of AlloCiné, journalist in the editorial staff for more than two passionate decades. “Too old for this bullshit”? Oh never!

Did you know that one of the stars of “Lord of the Rings” was unable to shoot some of his scenes due to a severe allergy to prostheses? Find out who it is!

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring, during the crossing of Moria, we find in particular the character of Gimli, played by John Rhys-Davies. But at times, it is not the latter who is on the screen! “In some of these shots, it’s not him”, confirms director Peter Jackson in the audio commentary for the long version of the film.

Why didn’t John Rhys-Davis shoot all of his scenes? Screenwriter Philippa Boyens explains it in the same audio commentary: “John had had a very nasty allergic reaction to the prostheses”, she reveals. “Initially, it took between four and five hours of makeup. Then it went down to three, but never less.”

“The glue had caused John an inflammation around the eyes”, completes Fran Walsh, screenwriter and producer of the cult trilogy. “He couldn’t shoot two days in a row. We had to space out the takes by two or three days.” And even, therefore, sometimes to use a liner.

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