I saw Elijah Wood almost every day I was at SXSW. Was I stalking him? Was he stalking me? Who can even tell at this point? But homeboy was out here at all my SXSW functions and I lurked hard at any given opportunity.
It all started at a disco, as these things do. I had learned that Elijah Wood (part-time DJ and low-key Renaissance Man) was DJing a dance party at the Alamo Drafthouse on Friday night so I made my way over there right at start time, 10 p.m., all by my lonesome, and weaseled my way to the front of the stage to watch Elijah and his DJ partner Zach Cowie (together called "Wooden Wisdom" lol) spin some tunes. Do you think Elijah Wood is so used to people creeping on him that he's no longer bothered by lurkers? Because I lurked in the front row by myself for a solid two hours before my friends showed up at midnight, no longer making me look like a total loser.
Anyway, here you can totally tell Elijah Wood spotted me in the crowd and is like, 'DANG, WHO IS SHE?':
During those two hours, as I was solo shimmying in front of him (for him?), a disturbing thought came to mind. What if I just openly creeped him the fuck out by sending him the note from Grand Piano (an underrated Elijah Wood classic) that says "PLAY ONE WRONG NOTE AND YOU DIE"?
what if I Grand Piano-ed Elijah Wood during his DJ set pic.twitter.com/Z5ZI6X8sOs— Kristen Yoonsoo Kim (@kristenyoonsoo) March 12, 2016
I didn't, because I didn't want to get kicked out by security, and also I didn't have any writing utensils to even scribble the note, but there will hopefully be a next time.
Instead, I took a bunch of "me and bae" selfies, which he toooootally consented to, as you can tell below:
I even Shazam'ed a couple songs he was playing so I could relive this magical night. I would be lying if I said I didn't listen to this on REPEAT all weekend, thinking about the good times we shared.
The next day, I didn't even expect to see Elijah Wood, but he showed up to a lunch I was at. Honestly, I should have known he could be there. I was at a crawfish boil after an early morning screening of The Greasy Strangler, which is this weird, fucked up film that Wood produced. I was having a normal, chill-ass lunch—and by that I mean I was squirting crawfish juice all over important film industry folks—until motherfuckin' Elijah Wood walked in.
Here, I creepshot him entering the party behind a roll of paper towel:
At any given time, Elijah Wood never has a shortage of people to talk to. Dude lives in Austin part-time and is constantly surrounded by friends. He also wasn't eating any crawfish while I had maybe 30 of those little suckers and scattered the shells in various empty trays so I didn't look like I was eating so much. Do rich and famous people ever get hungry? Elijah Wood only drank beers and chain-smoked the entire time I was there. Anyway, I spent the rest of my lunch just panting in his presence and trying to play it cool but someone who noticed my complete loss of chill was like, "You should just go talk to him. This is the most casual situation you'll find yourself in with Elijah Wood." "Please come with me," I begged. She refused, but she did give me the gentle *figurative* tap on the ass I needed to go up to him.
I walked right up, boldly, confidently. Then I shriveled in his presence, even though Elijah Wood is arguably the least threatening person ever. Thankfully there was an icebox near him and I grabbed a beer and walked away, like that's what I had meant to do all along. Then I got up the courage again, circled him once more, but cowardly shriveled again. This time, I grabbed a bottle of water, because grabbing another beer so soon after would be illogical (mind you, Elijah Wood was neither paying attention to what I was doing nor did he even look in my direction).
Okay, I should just give up, I thought. Discouraged, I called an Uber back to my hotel room. But while waiting for my car, an intense sense of YOLO washed over me. I marched right back up to Elijah Wood, interrupted him as he was lighting a cigarette, and said "HEY. I'm Kristen." He was very polite and shook my hand. I don't remember what else I said after that (not much and nothing important, that's for sure) but I basically ended that non-conversation with "I'm leaving, my Uber is here!" and skipped right out of there.
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, they say. At least I took one? Sure I missed but I knew I would see him the next evening, at the premiere party for The Trust, a heist thriller in which he stars opposite Nicolas Cage. I'm gonna ask him to do shots with me and we're gonna become best friends, I had planned. Spoiler: None of that happened.
That Sunday, I did see Elijah Wood, but more than I had bargained for. I was waiting at the Intercontinental hotel lobby to interview Patrick Fugit when—you guessed it—Elijah motherfuckin' Wood showed up. Riddle me this: WHO IS STALKING WHOM?
I pretended to be on my phone, intensely texting, but Elijah Wood is certainly no noob to creepshots. He most definitely caught me taking this pic:
It was getting to be too much. Elijah Wood was SO out here in Austin that when I downloaded Tinder for SX-shits and giggles, one of the first people to super-like me had a picture of himself with Elijah Wood...
OMG ELIJAH WOOD GET OUT OF HERE.
This had to be the universe telling me we were meant to be together, right? RIGHT?
But at The Trust premiere party that night, I didn't get a word in with Elijah. He was being too cool with too many friends and I was doing, like, a lazy, half-assed dance by the hors d'oeuvres, missing every chance to talk to him. Then Elijah Wood bounced, probably to go to more cool parties. Bummed out, I left too.
Now this last part is very, very important. Day 4: I arrived at the Embassy Suites for our final moment of truth. I had scored an interview with Elijah Wood, so now I had an actual reason and purpose to talk to him. When I got to the hotel suite, I admitted I had seen him every day since I got to SXSW. He laughed. Uncomfortably? I'm not sure. I even told him I wanted to slip him that creepy Grand Piano note, and that's when I found out Elijah Wood is truly bae.
I watched you DJ on Friday night and a disturbing thought came to me. I was like, "What if I slipped you the note from Grand Piano that said, 'Play one wrong note and you die?'"
That would have been awesome.
But, it’s like, Elijah Wood has no idea who I am...
I would have loved that. That’s such a specific reference.
I was like, "He might call security on me."
No. God. I would love that.
He was totally down with the creepin'! I didn't see Elijah Wood again after that day, but I was almost relieved, because I've already lost so much of my chill that week. I didn't come back booed up by Elijah Wood, but it was almost perfect in how crystallized our time together was. Kind of like Before Sunrise, the Austin edition. And anyhow, I finally got something to remember him by forever.
To read more coverage of SXSW 2016, click here.