| ?Anytime you?re playing with an actor who is as good as Ian McKellen is,? states Wood, ?it makes your own job easier. Part of the pleasure of working with great actors, is that it brings out the goodness in you. You want to be better, and it makes you better, because they are giving you so much to work with. I found Ian McKellen to be an incredibly giving actor. It was really an extraordinary thing to see Gandalf come to life before my eyes.?
One of Wood?s most challenging moments in The Fellowship of the Ring occurred when Frodo watches in horror as Gandalf perishes at the hands of the demonic Balrog. ?I already had it my head that I had to be extremely affected by Gandalf?s death,? says Wood, ?since he was my great friend, really like a family member to Frodo. Well, Peter gave me a interesting piece of direction that day. He said, ?I want your reaction and the look on your face, to scare the audience, because they?ve never seen Frodo look like this before, or be in this much despair?. I felt that was a really good piece of direction, because it drove me to make the shot far more profound and more heartbreaking. It was an interesting thing to get my head around, because it was open-ended enough, that I could play with that thought and make it into whatever I wanted, within the guidelines that Peter had given me.?