SIR Ian McKellen originally criticised the casting of American stars Elijah Wood and Sean Astin as hobbits in The Lord Of The Rings, because he believed the roles should have been given to English actors instead. But the two young actors, who played FRODO BAGGINS and SAM GAMGEE, proved the veteran actor wrong with their diminutive performances, perfectly recreating the tender relationship enjoyed by JRR TOLKIEN's true heroes. He says, "I was doubtful about the casting of Frodo. I thought Elijah was far too pretty. "I thought it was a mistake to have two Americans play those parts. I thought it was an essentially English relationship, one of class. "(But) Elijah could not have been better."