It happened with Star Wars and we knew it had to happen with Lord of the Rings too. Whenever you have an ensemble cast that big, invariably not everyone involved will be able to move on to equally great things. While Star Wars had its Harrison Ford, most of the rest of the cast were lucky to find jobs as writers (like Carrie Fisher) or doing voice work (like Mark Hamill). Others weren’t even that lucky. Most of the minor Star Wars actors ended up traipsing around the convention circuit earning a living off autographs, and now it looks like we have our first Lord of the Rings cast member headed that direction as well. Yahoo says Billy Boyd is broke.

Billy played the hobbit Pippin in all three Lord of the Rings movies. He was the most impetuous member of the fellowship, the one who most often got on Gandalf’s nerves. After Lord of the Rings he landed a decent part in Master & Commander and he’s worked steadily since, but only in tiny, almost unnoticed roles. Now Boyd tells Yahoo he’s running on empty. He says, “I don't have any money. We were unknown actors. We did it for peanuts, and for food.”

As a fan of his work in Lord of the Rings, the really depressing thing is hearing the now 42-year-old, well, just giving up. Yahoo says he concedes he’ll never do anything better. But at least he doesn’t sound entirely bitter about it. Billy says, “Once you get in your head that you're not going to do anything bigger, you just do things that you enjoy.”

It doesn’t sound like Billy Boyd’s sleeping in the gutter, exactly, but it does sound like he’s resigned himself to being the least successful of the original Fellowship. Ian McKellen is a well respected actor of the highest order, Viggo Mortensen is a sought after talent who most believe will soon win an Oscar, Orlando Bloom had a brief cup of coffee as an action movie heart throb, Sean Bean is the default villain in almost every movie, Sean Astin is secretly running Hollywood from behind the scenes, Elijah Wood is still a name, and Dominic Monaghan is off dating the hottest women in the world and getting plumb roles thanks to Lost. That just leaves poor Billy Boyd, out in the cold. Before you know it he’ll be doing malt liquor commercials. You were always my favorite hobbit, Billy.

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