Nicolas Cage Turned Down Aragorn Role In Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings

Over the past four years, Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off) has appeared in 15 films, with as many as five more in pre- and post-production. His financial woes are well documented, so you can understand why he has a hard time turning down film roles of late -- no matter how questionable they are. But there was a time when Cage was well respected and could pick and choose his roles much more carefully. One role he didn't choose to play was Aragorn "Strider" II Elessar.

"Lord of the Rings. That trilogy. Aragorn," Cage told Newsweek when asked to name a particular role he passed on. "Or The Matrix. But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don't really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings."

Before you jump on Cage over this missed opportunity, just know that he had a good excuse: Family obligations. Filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy lasted a whopping 438 days and took place in New Zealand. That's a long time away from his family and the location would've prevented him from popping in and out. In the end, it worked out for everyone as we got a remarkable performance from Viggo Mortensen.

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Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring is an epic adventure of good against evil, the power of friendship and individual courage. The saga centers around an unassuming Hobbit named Frodo Baggins who inherits a Ring that would give a dark and powerful lord the power to enslave the world. With a loyal fellowship of elves, dwarves, men and a wizard, Frodo embarks on a heroic quest to destroy the One Ring and pave the way for the emergence of mankind.