There’s a bit of a kerfuffle afoot over Amazon’s pricey Lord of the Rings show. The problem? People are angry it may feature some nudity. After word broke that the production is seeking “intimacy coordinators,” who will assist in staging scenes of unclad human (or, who knows, maybe Ent) flesh, a petition on Change.org, hoping to keep it family-friendly, blew up. But it turns out this isn’t the first time Tolkien’s masterwork was almost tarred with onscreen filth.
During an appearance on the newly all-IRL Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd — aka hobbits Merry and Pippin from the original, Peter Jackson-led trilogy — broke the news that they almost had to go buff in The Two Towers.
“Here’s the thing. There was almost nudity in the movies,” Boyd told Colbert after he asked about the petition. He continued:
“[Screenwriter and producer] Philippa Boyens…she wrote a scene, because we’d been doing some kind of gags and winding people up…[and] she said, ‘Oh, it’s a new scene we’re filming next week, with the Ents. When Merry and Pippin are up Treebeard, he gets afraid and shakes his branches, which makes you guys fall, and as you hit all the branches on the way down, by the time you hit the ground, you’re naked. And Merry turns to Pippin and says, ‘It’s cold, isn’t it?’ And Pippin says, ‘Hold me, Merry.’’
But at least one of them wasn’t against it. “I was kind of into it,” Monaghan said. “I have a really fantastic ass. I thought now is the time to get it out.”
Alas, not even the super-long Extended Cut of the series’ second part features the bare derrieres of Mssrs. Monaghan and Boyd, which evidently was never filmed. You can watch the two’s full Late Show appearance over here.