Anneli Kanerva—Staff Writer
History Professor Walker Cosgrove has been announced as a cast member for the upcoming Amazon reboot of The Lord of the Rings.
It has been a lifelong dream of Cosgrove’s to star as a hobbit in a Lord of the Rings movie since he was a young boy. Cosgrove used to run around his house barefoot and request second breakfast from his mother as a child. In 2002, the year after the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, Cosgrove even scraped together enough money to travel to attend the San Diego Comic-Con. The professor treasures the memory of his time cosplaying as a hobbit at SDCC. To this day, he frequently jokes with students in his classes about how he was destined to be a hobbit.
The unexpected journey began when Cosgrove received a call from the casting director for the series. The director said that Cosgrove was recommended to him by a Dordt alumni who now works in the film industry in Los Angeles. The alumni had mentioned that he knew someone passionate about the franchise who would also require “literally no time in hair or make-up” because he was “born for this role.” The professor’s stature and appearance are similar enough to a hobbit that they prompted the casting director to give him a call.
The director had screened several dozen people for hobbit roles but was unsatisfied with his options, sensing that they lacked a strong connection with the roles. When the casting director got to speak to Cosgrove, he said he felt that Cosgrove had a good understanding of the role and was a great match.
“I knew right away that he was a viable option even though he has no acting experience,” the casting director said. “You can’t look that much like a hobbit and not get into the right mindset to understand the role.”
Shortly after their phone call, Cosgrove sent in headshots and facetimed the casting director. Within the week, Amazon footed the bill to fly Cosgrove to Los Angeles to do an audition in person. The audition proved what the casting director already knew: Cosgrove was a perfect fit.
“Thankfully, we won’t have to miniaturize him in post-production,” said the director. “We won’t have to shrink him at all.”
There is no word yet on what character Cosgrove will be playing, but he will be given a speaking role because background character roles are typically filled by extras from the local area. The casting director has confirmed that Cosgrove’s role is “indispensable to the series.”
The professor has yet to address his students or the Dordt community about his new role. News of Cosgrove’s success has quickly become common knowledge in the small Sioux Center community because of the church circuit and Dordt grapevine.
“This is the best thing that’s happened to Dordt in all my years here,” said Dordt professor Channon Visscher, Cosgrove’s colleague in the popular Cosmologies course.
Cosgrove now has paparazzi in front of his house almost every week, causing the whole of Sioux Center to feel starstruck. The professor reported issues with being followed around the school by students-turned-fans for weeks now. Cosgrove’s privacy has become enough of the issue that Dordt has started discussing a budget for hiring private security.
The professor has received tons of support from the local community including numerous fan pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. There will also be a movie night held on Dordt’s campus to watch the original Lord of the Rings movie the night before the Amazon series premiere.
Cosgrove’s success has also inspired other professors. Visscher will soon pursue the role of Gandalf’s Dutch cousin.
“I’ve already begun weaving cornstalks together to make a staff.”