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James Corden Thankfully Didn't Get A Third Callback To Play Samwise In The Lord Of The Rings

Sean Astin's portrayal of Samwise Gamgee in "The Lord of the Rings" is one of the many elements that make the trilogy. Like many other performances in the three films, it has embedded itself in pop culture to the degree that it's quite hard to imagine anyone else playing Frodo's (Elijah Wood) closest companion — almost as hard as imagining Astin in the role of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen).

But of course, all of these performances could only come after a rigorous production process. This naturally included, at the very beginning, the dreaded auditions, and with them all manner of stories and what-ifs.

At least a couple of those auditions involved James Corden. This was the early aughts, well before Corden became a household name — before "Doctor Who," before Bustopher Jones, before "The Late Late Show." No, this was when Corden was a struggling actor, likely willing to take any role he was offered. And according to Corden himself, we're all quite lucky that he was never offered the role of Samwise Gamgee.

Corden said his audition for Samwise was 'not good'

During a recent appearance on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast (via Variety), James Corden himself characterized his audition for Samwise as "not good." According to Corden, director Peter Jackson and his production team cast a very wide net during the audition process. Corden and two of his friends were just a few of the countless actors reading for the role of Samwise.

"Every single person in London auditioned for 'Lord of the Rings.' Everybody," he told host Josh Horowitz before slipping into Sam's signature English Midlands accent. "I was doing it! The accent and everything! 'Mr. Frodo!'"

Corden's audition must have not gone that badly, however. As he further elaborated in the interview, he and his friends were called back twice. "Two of my other friends went in," Corden explained, "and we all got called back the next day, and then we got called back the next day. And then none of us got called back after that!"

Corden didn't have to wait long for his big break, though. In 2007 he created and starred in the BBC sitcom "Gavin & Stacey," which gained him both fame and critical success (via RTE).