déjà vu

I Thought That Orc Looked Familiar

The orc Gothmog (left) and Harvey Weinstein (right) Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photos: New Line Cinema/Alamy; Bloomberg/Getty Images

Hot Lord of the Rings goss for second breakfast: Serial rapist and disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein served as the inspiration for one of Middle-earth’s orcs — according to Frodo Baggins himself. Renowned hobbit Elijah Wood confirmed this rumor to Dax Shepard on the podcast Armchair Expert, explaining: “I think that is okay to talk about now,” Wood said. “The guy is fucking incarcerated. Fuck him.” I think it’s okay, too! Say more, Frodo.

Wood recalled an experience Sean Astin (who played Frodo’s quest husband, Samwise Gamgee) apparently had on arrival in New Zealand for filming. “He had seen these orc masks,” Wood explained. “And one of the orc masks — and I remember this vividly — was designed to look like Harvey Weinstein as a sort of a fuck you.” Weinstein’s habitual predation on young women in the industry was an open secret for decades, and the producer is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault (with another trial coming down the pipe). Maybe that is enough reason to make him an orc, all on its own! But also, it sounds like Weinstein clashed with Peter Jackson over his grand LOTR vision when Miramax initially green-lit the project, and maybe some of that animosity lingered.

Now, I know what you are thinking: Which orc, precious? Frodo didn’t specify, so we can only guess. And I don’t know about you, but when I look at Gothmog, lieutenant of Morgul — his wispy beige hair, his pasty complexion, his evil, gummy mouth; a shocking No. 9 on Polygon’s hot-orc power ranking — I get a little shock of déjà vu, an eerie feeling of recognition, drums in the damn deep. Now it all makes sense.

I Thought That Orc Looked Familiar