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The Fellowship Ends Its Quest In A Tattoo Parlor, from LOTR Fan Club Official Movie Magazine, April/May 2002
By Kevin Fitzpatrick

One of the worst-kept secrets among The Lord of the Rings cast was that all of the actors comprising Peter Jackson's "fellowship" went out and got matching tattoos as a memento of their experiences together in New Zealand. While the press honored their requests that we not photograph the tattoos, some did lift their shirts, pull down their pants, or expose their ankles to show off their lasting reminders of The Lord of the Rings!

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.