And Now, An Intimate Conversation With Elijah Wood

In which the COME TO DADDY star talks frozen yogurt, twerking and the Amish.

Hello, Elijah.

Elijah Wood: Wamp-ler!

I suppose we should talk about your hair.

It's an identifiable element of the movie, for sure.

Did you cut your own bangs? Who did this to you?

Well, we had a really great hair and makeup team on this one. It was a collaboration, really. Ant [Timpson, director of Come to Daddy] had a lot of ideas for the hair which were, ah, pretty extreme. I looked at a few of 'em and said, "OK, this seems a little too far. We've gotta make this somewhat relatable." But in truth, it really was a collaboration, with us working together to find out what this character was gonna look like, and finding a balance where, when you first see him in this landscape, he looks almost like an alien, or a stranger in a strange land. The juxtaposition of him and his weird hat and his little mustache is a strong enough image for the audience to identify him as an unusual guy who's about to go on this journey for his father, who is very different from him. 


And also, y'know, as crazy as it looks, I actually have seen one or two people in the wild with that haircut. There are people who choose to cut their hair that way.

Yeah, people who are court-ordered to introduce themselves when they move into a neighborhood.

I've interacted with you often enough on Twitter to know you're a regular social media user.

Oh, yeah.

So then you must be familiar with Daddy Culture.

(long pause) ...Not really.

I don't believe that.

Do you...are we talking about, like, someone who's looking for someone else to take care of them? Like a Sugar Daddy?

Yes, it could be that. Anyone can be a Daddy.

I don't - 

People said Venom was Daddy.


A lot of people said Venom was Daddy, in fact.


So, was there ever any concern on your part that titling your film Come to Daddy might therefore be considered an intrusion, or co-opting of, Daddy Culture?

I don't think that was ever a concern.


The first thing that came to mind when I read the title was probably the Aphex Twin song, and there's actually another Aphex Twin song in the movie, it's beautiful. But no, I don't think we thought about Daddy Culture, or how we might be appropriating it. 

Well, maybe that's something for you to think about. 

You're absolutely right.

Do you consider yourself a Daddy?

Well, I mean, I am a dad.

Yes, you're a recent father, but are you a Daddy?

(long pause) I don't think I quite know what that means.

Alright, Elijah, if we're gonna continue to play games I'm just gonna have to move on to the next line of questioning.

Honestly, Scott, I want to help you, I just -

Moving on.

I would now like to pitch to you an idea.


It’s a little outside of the box, but I think you will like it.

Sure, yeah!

So here it is: a quick-casual dessert shop called Froyo Baggins. All the froyo is served in gallon-sized Ziploc bags. 


No toppings. Just yogurt in a bag. That’s the whole gimmick.


This is serious!

I think it’s a niche market that you’re talking about. It’s really only going to appeal to people who are interested in mass quantities of yogurt. But for those people, I mean, fuck…

You could store leftovers in your freezer.

That’s true, but frozen yogurt melts. It doesn’t hold up for a long period of time, at all, that’s something you want a little bit of, and you wanna eat it quickly.

(getting mad) You know what? 

The integrity of the yogurt is what I’m afraid of! 

This is exactly the sort of defeatist attitude that resulted in Sam carrying your ass the rest of the way up that mountain.

That’s fair.

Samwise Gamgee would launch Froyo Baggins, I bet.

Yeah, he does have the sort of unending positivity to do such a thing, I agree.

OK I will give him a call.

Now let me ask you this: when you find yourself slighted in any way - by the cashier in a grocery store, for instance, or out on the street - do you ever just snap and scream, “MOTHERFUCKER, I PRODUCED MANDY.” 

Y'know, I haven't!

I would play that card constantly.

I don’t typically “snap”, is the thing. Not really. 

Elijah Wood: keepin’ things even-keel.

Right. And I don’t know that I would...I’m just not very boastful. Even angry, I don’t think I would throw out an achievement at someone, like - 

Yeah, but this is Mandy we’re talking about here.

I know. I know.

No one would fault you for this.


If people saw you blowing up like that, they would definitely be on your side. No jury would convict you.

Well, that’s good to know. I hadn’t given it much thought, honestly, but now I’ve got that in my back pocket, should I ever find myself in an altercation where I really need to...y’know, show up. It’s also good to know that you would have my back on this.

Your IMDb trivia page says you are #75 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Former Child Stars. Have you considered eliminating the seventy-four former child stars who placed above you, in order to get the #1 spot? 

Well, first of all, I did not know about that list. 

You didn’t get a trophy or anything?

No, but I mean, who even creates these lists, Scott?


Yeah, I definitely didn’t know about this.

Well, then this is another good idea for you to consider. A twofer.

I don’t know who’s above me on that list but I’m sure they’re awesome, and I don’t want to...I can’t be "eliminating" people, y’know? And as for these lists, I mean, I have trouble with lists even as a fan. I find it very difficult to write a top ten or even a top five list, for anything that I care about, much less -

Much less a list of one hundred children.

Thank you, yes. That’s a good button on the end of that.

I am to understand that you have done some extensive DJ work.

I have, yeah!

In that case, I imagine you have spent a lot of time in clubs, and have some wisdom to impart here. I have enrolled to take twerking lessons and I was wondering if you had any pointers.

(fumbling for words)

Surely you’ve seen this going on in the crowd. You’re up there, you’re onstage, you’re cranking out sick beats, one thing leads to another…

I don’t think I’m playing the sort of music that people tend to twerk to.

Oh, I see.

I have not been privy to much twerking, nor do I think I would be a good candidate for twerking. A good twerk needs at least a semi-substantial ass, right? 

That’s true. 

I mean, you’re just limited. If you don’t have a substantial ass I don’t believe you are likely to achieve any kind of twerking dominance. 

So what I’m hearing is that I need to fully realize my rump before I get out on the floor.

Yes, I believe that those two things are probably very much related.

You’re probably right. 

Y’know, Big Freedia, out of New Orleans. When I think of twerking, that’s who I think of.

Sorry, what out of New Orleans?

Big Freedia.

Oh, Big Freedia. OK, I misheard. I thought you said “Rumspringa”.

Oh, no.

You know about Rumspringa, right? 

That’s a whole other topic!

I wonder: Amish teens out on Rumspringa should definitely be allowed to twerk, right? Because you can go wild, that’s the whole point of Rumspringa.

You can! You can twerk, you can drink - there’s actually a very good documentary about Rumspringa. It’s quite fascinating, because, statistically-speaking, I think that most of the teenagers who partake in Rumspringa end up going back to the Amish community. They reject it. 

Is there any twerking in the documentary?

Y’know, I feel like that movie was probably made before twerking was a thing.

Very well. 

Elijah, should people see Come to Daddy with their dads?

Uh, yeah. I mean, if for nothing else, you might be exposing your dad to a kind of movie that they're not used to seeing. At its core, it is a story about a son trying to reunite with his father, albeit with a number of dark twists and turns. But I do think there's something in there that anyone could relate to, in terms of that relationship. But, really, I think the main reason to take your dad to see Come to Daddy is that your dad probably wouldn't have seen this movie on his own, and it would be fun to see how he'd react to it. 

Or to give him new haircut ideas.