Elijah Wood is one of those actors that everybody knows. Since playing Frodo Baggins in 2001 in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there’s not a corner of the world where he can go unrecognized.
So how does someone so well known manage his personal privacy online? Taking advantage of the launch of Open Windows, the new film directed by Nacho Vigalondo, we asked him about this and about his role in the film.
Interview with Elijah Wood
Panda Security: What was the most difficult thing about your character?
Elijah Wood: The technical aspects of shooting each character separately, whilst looking at the camera as a webcam were the most difficult. Rarely were any of the actors interacting with one another in the same frame. Most of my experience was solitary, with lines of dialogue from other characters being read off screen and specific screen direction of what was happening at any given time on my computer adhering to a relatively strict time code for me to follow. The film was roughly crafted in an animatic prior to shooting, which helped as far as having a guide for what would happen from moment to moment. Our script supervisor had easily one of the most complicated jobs keeping all of the details and timing in line.
P.S.: The storyline is delivered through the screens of different devices, what do you think about this way of telling the story?
E.W.: I thought it was a thrilling concept, if not completely mad, when I first heard about it from Nacho. That is was going to be, and was, such a challenge to pull off a cohesive story told utilizing this method was incredibly exciting. We were all working within a structure that hadn’t been attempted for a feature film before and that made it so much fun.
P.S.: Was it difficult to make a film in which most of the scenes are designed to be seen through various screens?
E.W.: It was quite difficult. In some ways, shooting each actor through their own webcam is relatively simple, in that you don’t have to employ any coverage; however, this is also what also made it difficult. Coverage becomes a floating camera perspective that moves from camera to camera as well as the various activity that occurs on the computer screen itself, all providing information to tell the story. Again, I think the most difficult aspect for me was the intensity of the solitary nature of the direct relationship with the camera. For instance, all of the scenes that take place in the car, we shot in only 3 days.
P.S.: Has making Open Windows made you more aware of the risks people face when they open their whole lives to others on social networks?
E.W.: I suppose I was already aware of the risks one takes when they provide too much information on the internet. It’s fairly common sense that if you are vulnerable for many to see, that you can be taken advantage of. We’re experiencing now far more insidious and hidden lack of security now, which does require a more active sense of awareness.
P.S.: How does an actor as famous as you protect their identity online?
E.W.: I keep most of my social network presence private. Twitter is the only platform that I am completely visible and I use it primarily to retweet posts that I find interesting or to support artists, films, and music that I love; rather than pouring my personal life and identity into it.
P.S.: Have you ever suffered identity theft on social networks?
E.W.: Not yet. (knocks on wood)
P.S.: What are your IT skills like? Do you use an antivirus?
E.W.: Relatively good and secure.
Fantastic way to interview a superstar actor on online security. I imagine identity theft could be a huge issue for A-listers.