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A Man Is Living as a Hobbit and These Lord of the Rings Stars Approve

Elijah Wood poses as hobbit Frodo Baggins at Bag End in 'Lord of the Rings'

After an Italian man announced his extensive plans to live the life of a hobbit, stars of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies sent warm messages of approval.

37-year-old Nicolas Gentile is an Italian pastry chef who also happens to be living as a hobbit and planning to build a shire-inspired village. A dedicated fan of Lord of The Rings—to say the least—Gentile’s ambitious Middle-earth-themed projects have won the attention and support of some of the most famous hobbits of all. Actors Elijah Wood, who played Frodo, Sean Astin, who played Sam, and Billy Boyd, who played Pippin, all recorded videos expressing their enthusiasm for Gentile’s undertakings.

According to The GuardianGentile “dresses and lives as a hobbit […] whose goal is to transform 2 hectares (5 acres) of land in the countryside of Bucchianico, near the town of Chieti in Abruzzo, into a hobbit village.”

On his Instagram, _myhobbitlife_, you can watch Gentile, along with family and friends, go on adventures and undertake everyday tasks as denizens of J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe. You can also see his extensive plans for building the village, “la Contea dei Mezzuomini,” or “the Halfing’s Shire.”

Below are the Lord of the Rings stars’ lovely messages of support—in English and very sweet attempts at Italian—as they urge people to help Gentile’s dream and crowdfund the village:


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A post shared by MyHobbitLife (@_myhobbitlife_)

Elijah Wood enthused about Gentile’s lifestyle, his attention to detail and design, and would love to come visit “if I am ever in your shire.”

“I hope this finds you happy, healthy and well,” says Wood. “I went to your Instagram page and it is incredible what you are doing. I love the costumes, the individual set photos that you have done, in front of fires, smoking a pipe. It’s so beautiful. Well done! I can’t wait to watch your progress and I will follow you on Instagram. That is so amazing. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods, in your shire, I would love to visit.’’

Gentile and his fellowship also undertook an important mission that tied Tolkien’s themes into the very real threats that our Earth faces today. Per the Guardian:

Starting 27 August, alongside a group of friends and Lord of the Rings fans, variously dressed as an elf, a dwarf, a hobbit, a sorcerer and humans, Gentile walked 180 miles, from Chieti to Naples, crossing mountains and rivers, to throw “the One Ring” into the crater of Mount Vesuvius. He said the journey was not just an extravagant walk by Lord of the Rings fans – he wanted to send a message.

“The earth today is threatened by pollution and the climate emergency, which are enemies as fearsome as Sauron. We wanted to show that our land, like Tolkien’s Middle-earth, must be saved and protected.”

Sean Astin was impressed by this vital trek, saying in his video message to Gentile, “I know you walked for 300km to throw the ring into Vesuvius. Into Vesuvius! This is an amazing thing! I don’t know if the Italian mountains are Mordor, but all that effort and work is a wonderful thing!” Billy Boyd led perfectly with, “Hello, friends of Nicolas! It’s me, Billy Boyd, a fool of a Took.”

It’s wonderful to see the stars supporting this project, and if you were a fan of the trilogy, you were likely reminded how great and warm-hearted the cast was. Stories like this go a long way toward restoring our faith in fellow humans (and hobbits) during troubling times. Gentile told The Guardian, “Seeing their humanity, their emotion, for my project filled me with pride and joy. I understood they are very humble, simple people. In short, come to think of it, Wood, Boyd and Astin are real hobbits.”

If you want to check out Gentile’s “My Hobbit Life” you can follow on Instagram or Facebook. You can also visit the village website here to learn more about the project and help make this slice of the Shire a reality.

(via The Guardian, image: New Line Cinema)

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.