Imagine Gandalf, the great and wise wizard, waving his staff and vibing to outlaw country music with his horse Shadowfax. Or, perhaps, blowing smoke rings in the air with Bilbo and Gollum in tow. That would be American country singer Willie Nelson’s version and it would definitely give Ian McKellen’s Gandalf a run for his money.
On his 80th birthday in 2013, Nelson made a faux audition tape for The Hobbit 2 alongside his son, Micah Nelson, who filled in the shoes of Bilbo Baggins. Clad in a cloak and wizard hat, with a joint hanging out of his mouth, Nelson exudes pure swagger as he addresses Conan O’Brien’s production company. He improvises the old wizard’s lines by quite a bit, which results in a hilarious gag tape.
Nelson says, “You shall not pass an unlit joint, man. That’s just not cool” and follows it up with a “The giant flaming eye is freaking me the fuck out!”
He even had a priceless reaction to his contemporary and rival to the role, Ian McKellen. Unfazed, he boldly asks Peter Jackson, the director, to “hire” him “and fire that Ian McKellen guy. He’s a good actor, but hell, I’m Willie Nelson”.
Ian McKellen, like a good sport, sent in a hilarious tweet saying, “Dear Willie, You are far too young to play Gandy. But nice try; have a stoner of a birthday. Love and admiration. Ian.”
Willie Nelson’s Oscar-worthy audition tape left fans in splits as Micah and Willie sang an amusing rendition of “Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Orcs”.
While we hope this adorable dope-smoking singer’s dreams come true someday, let us watch his audition reel below, and crack up.
“Balrogs are assholes!”