15 years ago, the world of fantasy and film changed when Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters, resulting in astounding success. For three consecutive years, fantasy films dominated the December box office, and with the release of The Return of the King, received a swath of Oscars.
Since then, we've seen a trilogy based on The Hobbit, which featured some familiar actors, but since the release of the film, the cast has gone on to do a wide variety of things. Some actors were already well-established in the industry, while others rose to fame in an unexpected way.
Take a look back at what the original members of The Fellowship of The Ring are up to now! Which is your favorite film in the franchise? Let us know in the comments!
Elijah Wood - Frodo
Wood's career started early, acting as a child in films like Radio Flyer, The Good Son, and North before transitioning to a teen star with films like Deep Impact and The Ice Storm.
Wood never stopped acting, appearing in films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, and Green Street Hooligans. In recent years, Wood has explored edgier roles, playing a serial killer in Maniac and other genre fare like Open Windows and Grand Piano.
Sean Astin - Sam
First starring in The Goonies, Astin was active through the '80s and '90s with films like Toy Soldiers, Encino Man, and Rudy.
Astin delved deep into the world of television, starring on shows like The Strain, 24, and Special Agent Oso. The actor also began exploring voice acting for animated series, including playing Raphael in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and playing Shazam in Justice League Action.
[H/T YouTube/DC Entertainment]
Sir Ian McKellen - Gandalf
McKellen was one of the few actors who had a long-running career prior to the Lord of the Rings films, being the star of stage and screen for 40 years prior. He also starred in X-Men as the villainous Magneto.
The star continued to portray Magneto in future installments of the X-Men franchise, in reprised his role of Gandalf in the Hobbit trilogy. In addition to his illustrious acting career, McKellen has also become one of the most prominent and vocal supporters of the LGBTQ community.
[H/T YouTube/X-Men Movies]
Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn
Mortensen had a diverse career before heading to Middle Earth, having starred in things like Carlito's Way, Albino Alligator, and G.I. Jane. Mortensen's gruff yet wise presence made him the perfect embodiment of Aragorn, the rightful king.
Mortensen continued to build his diverse filmography by appearing in films like The Road, A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises. His most recent film, Captain Fantastic, is one of the year's biggest critical hits and has already gained prestigious awards nominations.
Sean Bean - Boromir
One of Bean's most notable roles prior to LotR was portraying the villain in GoldenEye, the James Bond hit, but he had a massive career before that. Bean played Boromir, the brash warrior who felt he could control his urges more easily than Frodo could, and his desire for the ring played a part in his death.
Possibly more than any one role in particular, Bean has built up a long rap sheet of dying on-screen. Fellowship of the Ring was only the beginning, as a recent tally placed his deaths well above 25. One of his most prominent roles was that of King Eddard Stark on the HBO hit Game of Thrones, but, for reasons we won't divulge, only appeared on one season.
Orlando Bloom - Legolas
The Fellowship of the Ring was only Bloom's second feature film role, having previously acted in multiple TV series and starring in a made-for-TV movie.
Bloom continued to become a box office success, heralding in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise by starring in its first three installments. He also acted in big-budget epics like Kingdom of Heaven and Troy, while also starring in romantic comedies like Elizabethtown. Bloom also appeared in two of the Hobbit films.
John Rhys-Davies - Gimli
Much like McKellen, Rhys-Davies had a massive career spanning multiple decades before he got tapped to play the stubborn dwarf Gimli, who often ran into situations more quickly than he should have. He was also no stranger to franchises, having played Sallah in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Rhys-Davies was almost 60-years-old when taking on the role of Gimli, and in the last 15 years, his credits have practically doubled. The star has shared his unique voice to countless voice acting roles, as well as popping up in multiple TV series and films throughout the years.
Dominic Monaghan - Merry
Monaghan was another relative unknown in the acting world, having only previously starred in a few TV mini-series. His charm and charisma made Merry an immediate fan-favorite in the Lord of the Rings films.
One of Monaghan's biggest roles, which rivals his fame earned from playing a Hobbit, came from his lovable recovering drug addict Charlie on Lost. Monaghan might not have become a household name, but he still pops up in a variety of projects, including television shows Quantum Break, 100 Code, and The Unknown.
Billy Boyd - Pippin
Boyd only had a few TV credits before joining the Fellowship, but 15 years later, his chemistry with Monaghan is one of the most enjoyable elements of the series.
The actor appeared in a few TV series, movies, and video games here and there, but one of his biggest projects is his band Beecake. The chemistry between he and Monaghan has spilled over into real-life, and Boyd says the two see each other regularly and that Monaghan is essentially a godfather to his children.