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Why One Lord Of The Rings Star Refused To Get A Matching Tattoo With The Cast

Throughout the filming of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the main cast grew immensely close. The actors behind the Fellowship formed to destroy Sauron's One Ring became like a found family that endured beyond the "Lord of the Rings" set. The likes of Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, and Sean Astin, to name a few, even got matching tattoos of Elvish numerals to commemorate their time working on the saga together. Although, when it came time to go under the needle, one of the Fellowship actors was noticeably absent from the escapade.

"You really think I want to have my lovely skin broken by a dirty needle? Good God. No," John Rhys-Davies — the actor behind the hot-tempered, axe-wielding Gimli — told ComicBook.com of his refusal to get the "Lord of the Rings" tattoo his co-stars had opted to get. According to him, between all of the broken bones, bumps, and various other injuries he has sustained throughout his life, he feels he has marked up his body enough. Thus, he didn't see a need to mark himself with some ink, no matter how sentimental it would've been.

Even though Rhys-Davies didn't go for a "Lord of the Rings" tattoo, someone else who greatly contributed to Gimli's cinematic legacy did end up getting one.

Rhys-Davies' stunt and size double got tattooed instead

Since John Rhys-Davies turned down the chance to get a matching tattoo with his "Lord of the Rings" colleagues, an opportunity arose for another actor behind Gimli to take them up on the offer. Rhys-Davies' uncredited stunt and size double Brett Beattie got the ink in the actor's stead after Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, and Orlando Bloom all invited him to tag along. As he told Polygon, he wasn't sure if he should since Rhys-Davies was technically credited as Gimli, but he ultimately went for it. After all, he went above and beyond to make Gimli such a memorable character in the trilogy.

"I am aware that a lot of the people, even hardcore 'Lord of the Rings' fans, assume that a lot of the shots are some tricky sort of camera angle or some CGI shrinking John Rhys-Davies down. I don't want to burst anyone's bubbles, but I can only think of a couple of shots where CGI was used to shrink Rhys-Davies down," he said, recalling that playing Gimli was no easy feat. The costume and prosthetics made him uncomfortably warm, the stunts were demanding and occasionally resulted in injury, and the schedule was hectic, but Beattie toughed it out and became a part of the on-set Fellowship.

While it's too bad that Brett Beattie never received a proper co-credit for his work as Gimli, hopefully, his Fellowship tattoo somewhat made up for it.