Starring in a sweeping trilogy based one one of the most poplar fantasy series of all time should come with some pretty big perks, including stardom. Many of the actors of the Lord of the Rings series went on to become bigger names, starring in blockbuster movies, TV shows, or award-winning performances. Some of them, however, seem to have slipped through the cracks, whether succumbing to lesser roles or being forgotten entirely.
With over nine hours in Elven, Dwarvish or Orcish garb and gear, some of these talented actors may have simply been typecast and unable to escape Hobbiton and nearby areas. Others may simply lack the talent or even the general look required to launch into superstardom. Many still carry on, attempting to move past The Two Towers and Return of the King in order to make a new name for themselves, while others unfortunately find dark places to occupy instead.
The syndrome isn’t limited to actors in every scene, either. Many names that have fallen into obscurity come from smaller roles, too. Whether it’s a background character, the movie’s token female or some of the biggest names of the series, here are 16 Lord Of The Rings Stars Whose Careers Flopped After The Movies Ended.
16. Sean Astin
We hate to include Sean Astin here since he’s kind of a geek god just between the trilogy and The Goonies, and that title has solidified after he portrayed the tragic character Bob in the second season of Stranger Things last year. Yes, it’s still too soon. Astin is amazing. He also simply happens to be underused.
The bulk of Astin’s recent work has been voicing the wisecracking hero in a half-shell Raphael in the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. From Justice League Action to Bunnicula, he’s lent his vocal talents to several animated shows. He’s had spots on TV shows such as The Strain and The Librarians, and been in several movies such as Bad Kids at Crestview Academy alongside his daughter, but he’s still either Samwise Gamgee 0r Mikey Walsh, depending on your generation.
15. Brad Dourif
Grima Wormtongue, once a good Man of Rohan, became corrupted and twisted by the White Wizard, Saruman, in order to destroy and control King Theoden. As Theoden’s chief adviser, he stood in the prime position to control not only the king but Rohan as well. Dourif’s role wasn’t the largest in the series but it was one of the most complex and best carried out.
From tragic, stuttering Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to Zoso in Once Upon a Time, Brad Dourif rivals Vincent D’onofrio as the Human Chameleon. Much like D’Onofrio, Dourif happens to have the talents of an A-list actor without the recognition or real estate in the films that he’s in.
From Deadwood to Cult of Chucky to a whopping five films this year alone, his work is as prolific as ever, but we simply don’t hear much about him since his time at Saruman’s side.