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Baker's Dozen

An Unexpected Journey: Elijah Wood's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , May 27th, 2016 07:28

As his new film The Trust hits the cinemas, actor, movie producer and DJ Elijah Wood tells us about 13 albums that have blown him away at various points in his life

For Elijah Wood, music is the gateway to a world of possibilities, where incredible new discoveries potentially await around every corner. "There's so much to explore internationally, and that always yields really exciting results because you start to realise that everyone was influenced by everything," he enthuses. "Chances are if you visit one part of the world at the same time as something else was happening elsewhere that part of the world has their answer to it. They're answering it through their rhythms or their instrumentation or their traditional music, and that combination of traditional elements from a certain country responding to a specific musical style is infinitely exciting, because it's truly something new. Going to Africa in the seventies, like Nigeria, obviously you've got afrobeat and African rock, which is all just a response to soul, funk and James Brown, but through their African rhythms which creates something entirely new. It's wonderful."

Music has been Wood's constant companion in an acting career that started with acclaimed child roles in the likes of Avalon, North and The Good Son, before graduating to teenage parts in The Ice Storm, Deep Impact and The Faculty. His career then took a huge, hairy-footed leap forward when he was cast as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy, a role he later reprised in 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Notable roles since have included silent cannibal killer Kevin in Sin City, opposite Mickey Rourke's Marv, a Harvard boy gone native among West Ham football hooligans in Green Street, and the voice of Mumble the penguin in Happy Feet, as well as the stitchpunk-doll '9' in Shane Acker's SF animation of the same name.

Wood is currently starring alongside Nicolas Cage and Skye Ferreira in the Brewer brothers' stylish, bleak crime thriller The Trust,. Wood and Cage play a pair of deeply bored and cynical Las Vegas cops who decide to liven up their dull desk jobs by ripping off a local drugs gang. Unsurprisingly this doesn't go entirely smoothly; in fact, Wood and Cage's characters soon find themselves resident in the furthest extremity of Shit Creek, with paddles of any description notable by their absence. For Wood, the chance to play opposite Cage was something he was never going to turn down.

"Getting a chance to work opposite Nic Cage was just a life gift," he says. "I have been an admirer of his work for so long and given the opportunity to work opposite him was just something that I couldn't pass up. And it didn't disappoint; it was just a total joy, both to be opposite him and also just to watch him work, and to watch the internal mechanisms grind away and him have thoughts that would come out in these impulses he would have that were so unique to him. He was constantly coming up with ideas, and it really kept me on my toes in the best way. It was just totally electrifying and awesome. And also just on the side we would spend most of our time on set, there wasn't a great deal of downtime, but one of us would be engaged in conversation constantly. So yeah, it was something that I'll hold dear for the rest of my life."

A club DJ and self-confessed crate digger, Wood also briefly ran his own record label, Simian, which signed Apples in Stereo and Heloise & The Savoir Faire. He admits that choosing just 13 records was incredibly difficult, partly because he's always getting excited by a new discovery. "That's what I love about being a music fan," he says. "The sense of discovery is never-ending, and it's what drives us forward. That great thing where you're at a record store and somebody behind the counter says listen to this, and gives you a little stack of recommended things to listen to, or digging through a box of 45s and pulling a stack out and going to the needle drop. There's nothing more exhilarating, especially if you find something that surprises you."

The Trust is out in cinemas and VOD from 27th May, click on the photo to begin scrolling through Elijah's choices

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