Australian actress Miranda Otto has had a nice career. She is probably best known for her role as Eowyn in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings series. But the last Lord of the Rings movie, The Return of the King, was back in 2003.
Miranda Otto has continued to work, but you may not have seen her. Here’s what Miranda Otto is doing now…
Miranda Otto’s was born in Brisbane, growing up there and in Newcastle, so when she jumped into the acting business, her only focus was on Australian films and TV series. Her very first starring role was in the 1987 World War II movie, Emma’s War. She followed that up with a role in Initiation.
The first decade of Miranda Otto’s career stayed centered in Australia. Early on while she was acting, she was also attending the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. This school also produced such actors as Mel Gibson and Judy Davis. After graduating, Otto went on to The Girl Who Came Late, The Nostradamus Kid, Sex is a Four Letter Word, Doing Time for Patsy Cline, and In the Winter Dark, all Australian films. During that decade, Otto made a name for herself by being nominated four times for an Australian Film Institute Award as both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress (two times each).
Miranda Otto got her first taste of an American-led film when she grabbed a small part in Terrence Mallick’s World War II drama The Thin Red Line. Her first big jump into Hollywood, though, came when she starred opposite Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeifer in the thriller What Lies Beneath. In the movie Miranda Otto played the couples mysterious next-door neighbor, holding her own with those two Hollywood heavyweights.
Otto went on to star in a couple of forgettable movies, Close Your Eyes and Julie Walking Home before Peter Jackson gave Miranda Otto her big break.
THE PETER JACKSON EFFECT
Peter Jackson came calling for the second and third movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The casting rumors for the trilogy were quite crazy as Jackson looked at nearly everyone for various roles in the film. Some of the names include Max Von Sydow, Morgan Freeman, and Sean Connery for Gandalf; Daniel Day-Lewis, and Russell Crowe for Aragorn; Lucy Lawless and Nicole Kidman for Galadriel.
When it came down to casting Miranda Otto as Eowyn, Jackson’s first choice was Uma Thurman, but she turned down the role. Thurman was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert back in 2017, explaining why, via CINEMABLEND, she turned down the part of Eowyn: “It was a very long time ago, and I do consider it to be one of the worst decisions ever made. But I had just had my first child and, I don’t know, I was a little housebound. … It’s really definitely a regret.” She also went on to tell Colbert, “I do consider it one of the worst decisions ever made.”
Her loss was Miranda Otto’s gain for sure. Otto went on to star in the last two movies in the Lord of the Rings series, spending six months filming while also having to learn sword fighting and horseback riding.
MIRANDA OTTO AFTER LORD OF THE RINGS
Miranda Otto’s career continued on at a hectic pace after Lord of the Rings. She grabbed a nice role in Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds opposite Tom Cruise. She was in the TV series Cashmere Mafia and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Miranda also had a lead role in the first Locke & Key movie made for TV (back in 2011), portraying Nina Locke.
Miranda Otto continued to bounce back and forth from TV roles and feature films. She was seen in the movies I, Frankenstein and The Daughter, while also showing up on TV series such as Rake, Homeland, and 24: Legacy.
MIRANDA OTTO’S PERSONAL LIFE
In 2003 Miranda Otto married actor New Zealand actor Peter O’Brien. The couple met while performing in a play called A Doll’s House. They have a daughter named Darcey, who was born in 2005.
Miranda was actually pregnant with Darcey while filming Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. After the birth of her daughter, Otto tried to limit the amount of time she worked so she could be at home more with her daughter at their home in Australia. As a result, from 2005 to 2012 she worked a lot less, but around 2013 as her daughter got older she started taking on more work again.
MIRANDA OTTO NOW
Now 52-years-old, Miranda Otto’s career continues to move forward at a more rapid pace now that her daughter is a teenager. The past few years have seen her find roles in feature films as well as more TV work.
In 2017, Miranda Otto appeared in the Conjuring Universe when she starred in the horror film Annabelle: Creation, a very solid entry in the series. She was also seen in Zoe, The Silence, and Downhill.
Miranda Otto has also been part of the Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, based on the Archie comics. The series continues to be part of Netflix’s lineup with a fourth season scheduled to hit the streaming service sometime this year. It’s nice to see Miranda isn’t slowing down any time soon.