Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has shown his support for an Italian man who lives as a hobbit and is turning his land into a Middle Earth Shire. He was joined by actors Sean Aston and Billy Boyd who played hobbits in the trilogy praising Nicolas Gentile, in videos posted to his My Hobbit Life Instagram page.
In the video, Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the movies, congratulates Gentile on his project, which the actor describes as incredible. “I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and well,” says Wood. “I went to your Instagram page and it is incredible what you are doing.”
The Hobbit star went on to praise the costumes, the individual set photos that Gentile shared in front of fires, smoking a pipe. “It’s so beautiful. Well done! I can’t wait to watch your progress and I will follow you on Instagram. That is so amazing. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods, in your shire, I would love to visit,” Elijah Wood added.
A pastry chef by day, Nicolas Gentile is planning to turn five acres of land in central Italy’s Bucchianico into a hobbit village called Gentile County. Unfortunately, it can’t be called The Shire because of existing copyright issues. He currently lives on the plot in a Hobbit house he built from scratch, inspired by descriptions of Bag End burrows (which Elijah Wood loves) in JRR Tolkien’s books after he purchased the land in 2018.
Elijah Wood and the other actors also appealed for funding for the ambitious fantasy project, asking fans to “help Nicolas build the shire.” In an interview with the Guardian last week Gentile, a massive fantasy genre fan, explained his decision to live like a hobbit. “I was reading about the lives of other people,” he said. “I decided I wanted to live my hobbit life to the fullest.”
When the books and films were no longer enough for him to satisfy his passion for the Lord of the Rings saga, Gentile decided to do something about it. “Some think I am trying to escape from reality – far from it. I am living my dream, my adventure,” he told the publication. “By purchasing that piece of land, I have removed it from a reality that I don’t like and am shaping it the way I want.”
Asked what he felt when he saw the messages from Elijah Wood and other Lord of the Rings actors, Gentile said that seeing their humanity and emotion for his project filled him with pride and joy. “I understood they are very humble, simple people. In short, come to think of it, Wood, Boyd, and Astin are real hobbits,” he said thoughtfully.
Directed by Peter Jackson, the three epic fantasy adventure Lord of the Rings films are based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the story follows the hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he and the Fellowship embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring, to ensure the destruction of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron. The Fellowship eventually splits up and Frodo continues the quest with his loyal companion Sam and the treacherous Gollum. With this as inspiration, maybe Nicolas will embark on his own trek now.