Where is your tattoo?
Viggo Mortensen: Not in the same place as theirs! We all got the same one - the word “nine” in Elvish - because that’s what we are, nine. I visited the tattooist a couple times, showed him the drawing and stuff. I didn’t say anything about Ian McKellen or whoever may be coming in. He just did it. We did all meet one morning and it was an interesting event, and I enjoyed it. Half a day. Actually everyone showed up. It goes along with all the other scars we got!
Ian McKellen: It did rather surprise me- I didn’t think I’d ever have a tattoo: I’ve never been pierced. but I am now. It’s on display during Dance of Death, if you want to see it - I take my shirt off on the Broadway stage, and it’ll cost you $70.
Who was first?
Billy Boyd: Me. It was Dom’s [Dominic Monaghan] idea, but once we got to the tattoo parlor, there was a lot of “Where are we going to have it?”
Sean Astin: There was a lot of fear.
Boyd: Sean held my hand. It’s actually quite soft.
Dominic Monaghan: It was a guy called Roger at Roger’s Tattoo Parlor in Wellington. He didn’t open on Sunday, but we only had a day off on a Sunday. After we all came together and committed to this idea, I think Viggo rang him. He told him, “We know you don’t open on a Sunday, we’ll make it worth your while.” We all turned up there, I think at 11:00, and it was a real party atmosphere. We were all taking photos and writing in diaries. It was one of my favorite days in New Zealand, I think. I’ll show you [mine], because these guys have theirs on their foot. [Lifts shirt to show shoulder blade.]
Boyd: Of course, we got the tattoos about a week before we finished [shooting], and I wasn’t really thinking ahead…so we still had a week to [spend with] these prosthetic feet! And I had the tattoo and so did Sean. They had to glue [the feet] on - quite painful.
Monaghan: I was just thinking, you guys got it on your foot, and Orlando got it on his forearm and he’s a bowman and he’s always using his forearm. I was using a sword a lot.
Can we see it?
Orlando Bloom: [rolling up shirt sleeve] We don’t want to show it if we don’t have to, we rather like to keep it amongst the nine of us in a way, it’s our own personal thing. It was designed by [Conceptual Artist] Alan Lee. I took Sean Bean down to a tattoo parlor in New York about a month and a half ago, because he was not in New Zealand when we got ours. So we got his [done] downtown. There were nine of us, nine tattoos. But maybe [New Line Cinema Executive Producer] Mark Ordesky will get one - he was number 10!
Elijah Wood: I can show you now, can’t I? Because it’s off-camera. [Lifts shirt, shows tattoo is on waist]
How’d you pick that spot?
Wood: I don’t know…it just felt right. It felt like the right place to put it.