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Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry)
 

Meriadoc Brandybuck Dominic Monaghan

Date of Birth: December 8 1976
Place: Berlin, Germany
Height:  
5’ 7” (1.70m)
Tattoos: He also has two small star tattoos on his right foot and a #9 tattoo in Elvish on his right upper arm
Family: Father Austin Monaghan, Mother Aureen Monaghan, one older brother Matthew
 

Merry Merry Meriadoc Brandybuck MerryMerryMerriadoc Brandybuck

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Born in Berlin, Germany, on December 8, 1976, Monaghan is the younger of two boys. His schoolteacher father and nurse mother spoke English at home and, when Monaghan was 12 years old, moved the family back to their native Manchester. Growing up, Monaghan worked several odd jobs - as a mail sorter, a stock boy, a sauté chef -- but he always wanted to be an actor.

He enrolled at Aquinas College, a Catholic sixth form school in England, where he studied English literature, drama, and geography. By his second year, Monaghan was a regular fixture in school plays. He performed in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, played the Artful Dodger in Dickens' Oliver Twist, and even portrayed American gangster Bugsy Malone.

Monaghan soon started acting outside of school and joined the Manchester Youth Theatre. His work with the troupe caught the attention of a talent agent, who sent him to an open casting call for the television show Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, starring veteran actress Patricia Routledge. Monaghan, then only 18, made his television debut as amateur detective Routledge's underage sidekick, Geoffrey Shawcross. The actor appeared on Hetty Wainthrop Investigates for four seasons, building a fan base and honing his craft.

In the next few years, Monaghan made his feature-film debut as a Russian sailor in Hostile Waters with Rutger Hauer and taped the docudrama This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, in which he portrays the boyfriend of a girl attacked by the Ripper. He also recorded his first BBC radio show, "Stockport...So Good They Named It Once," a family sitcom that features Monaghan as a witty, lovelorn 15 year old.

Monaghan was performing in a play in London when casting directors scouted him for The Lord of the Rings. As a child, he had read all three volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy; the books were his father's favorite. After a formal audition for The Lord of the Rings, Monaghan left England to film the WWII miniseries Monsignor Renard (1999) in France, in which he plays a droll layabout whose life dramatically changes during the German occupation. Six months into shooting, Monaghan's agent warned him to be prepared to immediately leave for Los Angeles or New Zealand to meet with Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings' director. The actor packed, but the meeting never occurred: Within days, he was called with an offer to play hobbit Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck, a major character in all three films.

The Lord of the Rings' three installments -- The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003) -- were taped simultaneously in New Zealand and kept Monaghan occupied for almost two years. Their yearly releases ensured Monaghan's continuing popularity, and their popularity brought him hoards of jobs offers. After returning to England, besides sifting through piles of potential scripts, Monaghan also completed his own comedy screenplay with fellow hobbit Billy Boyd.

Random Facts

  • Kept a pair of the latex Hobbit feet used in LotR.

  • Was given the Lord of the Rings book to him by his father when he was 15, who said: 'I'll give you six months to read it' - Dominic read it in two.

  • Bought a forest in India in early 2003, to help protect the environment.

  • Speaks fluent German.

  • Surfs.

  • Auditioned for Hetty Wainthropp three times in four weeks before finally getting the part.

  • Has a love for insects.

  • Attended Aquinas College, a Catholic sixth form school in Stockport

  • Did karate as a child

  • Originally auditioned for the role of Frodo Baggins in the LOTR trilogy

  • In Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001), in the first scene with Gollum and Bilbo Baggins, Andy Serkis who plays Gollum wasn't on set for the shooting of that scene, so Dominic filled in for him. It was his only interaction on screen with Ian Holm (Bilbo).

  • Has a habit of writing on his hands, which he shares with Chris Martin of Coldplay, who happens to be one of his favorite bands.

  • Wrote and recorded the vocals for the tracks "Shadow" and "Maybe", and co-wrote and recorded "Half Fling" with Elijah Wood on the album
    'Pandemoniumfromamerica'.

  • Is roommates with Mackenzie Astin, the brother of his co-star from LOTR, Sean Astin.

  • Previous jobs before acting included sorting mail at a Post Office, working in British Home Stores and working as a saute chef at a place called Quincey's in Didsbury, Manchester.

  • According to The Toronto Star (December 12, 2003), Monaghan fell so in love with surfing that he moved to Los Angeles and found a place to live 25 minutes from a beach.

  • Likes Radiohead, Coldplay, The Beatles and The Smiths.

  • Is a non-smoker; doesn't like girls who smoke, either.

  • While filming the Lord of the Rings-trilogy, he got rid of his fear of heights by joining Orlando Bloom when he went bungee jumping.

  • Owns a leaf-mantis named Gizmo, a Black Widow spider named Witchitar and an albino snake; its name has not been mentioned.

  • Is marginally the tallest of the 4 principal actors to play a hobbit in "The Lord of the Rings" films.

  • His favorite football club is Manchester United and his favorite players include Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham

  • Dom is constantly covered in various jewelry, most of which he wears all the time, including a pendant with a washer on it; an "engagement ring" from Sean's daughter Ali.

Filmography

Purifiers, The (2004) (post-production)
Shooting Livien (2004) (post-production)
"Lost" (2004) TV Series
Spivs (2003)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The (2003/II) (VG)
Insomniac's Nightmare, An (2003)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
"This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper" (2000) (mini) TV Series
"Monsignor Renard" (1999) (mini) TV Series
Hostile Waters (1997) (TV)
"Hetty Wainthropp Investigates" (1996) TV Series


 

All letters should be sent to:

c/o Peter Fraser & Dunlop
Drury House
34-43 Russell St.
London
WC2B 5HA
United Kingdom


 

Contributed by LOTRUK member, Samwise Gamgee and Elril Galia



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