Cate Blanchett doesn’t have a huge role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy; all told, we only get a handful of minutes with her elf-royal Galadriel. But it turns out we almost had if not more Galadriel then at least more Blanchett. The two-time Oscar-winner went on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, as caught by IndieWire, and as usual, her host was able to get some never-heard goods out of his guest. Among them: That she almost also played a dwarf.
Blanchett spoke about her too brief stint on the New Zealand set of Peter Jackson’s beloved J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, which she enjoyed so much she didn’t want to leave. Indeed, she begged Jackson and his collaborator/wife Fran Walsh to give her a secret cameo, in which she would appear not only as a dwarf but a male dwarf.
“There’s not too many chicks in the Tolkien universe,” Blanchett told Maron. “I loved it so much and I did say to Peter and Fran, they were doing a banquet scene with a whole lot of dwarves. I always wanted to play the bearded lady, so I asked them, ‘Could I be your hairy wife woman when you pan across the banquet table of dwarves?’ Of course I couldn’t because the timing shifted. But it takes them forever. For me, Galadriel it was just three weeks.”
Blanchett’s Galadriel makes her biggest appearances in the first film, 2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring, and her appearances in The Two Towers and The Return of the King are comparatively brief. It’s a shame it didn’t work out, but at least she got to play a man on-screen a few years later, earning yet another Oscar nomination for playing ’60s electric Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There. So at least we got that.