Hollywood stars will take the stage at the Neptune Theater in Halifax

A pair of Hollywood actors, known for one of the most popular film franchises of all time, take the stage in Halifax. Neptune Theater this month.

The duo met when they played hobbits Merry and Pippin in the award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, two decades later, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan are still best friends in real life.

“(The first time we met) we had a beer and played pool and I said ‘This guy is good.’ “Twenty years later, we were playing pool last night,” Boyd says.

“When you do a job for that long, two years, we all become very good friends,” Monaghan adds.

“Billy and I know we’re both British, so we know what it means to have that little kind of joke culture where you’re constantly having fun and making each other laugh, and we think that’s important.”

They both have successful solo careers, but choose to work as a duo whenever they can.

“When you lean toward having a positive outlook on life, you find it comforting to be with people who have the same perspective,” Monaghan says.

Neptune Theatre’s artistic director Jeremy Webb is pictured with actors Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan. (Courtesy: Stoo Metz)

Currently, the couple has been rehearsing a production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.”

“In doing this play, I discovered that I think I like Dom even more. We’ve never actually performed a play together in a rehearsal room. In fact, it’s been really lovely,” says Boyd.

“We’ve made movies together, we’ve done voice-overs together… but this is the first time we’ve spent eight hours a day in a room and that can be quite stressful and pressured and Dom is totally open to all different ideas and it’s a real pleasure to work with (him).”

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” opens at the Neptune Theater in Halifax at the end of the month. The play focuses on two supporting characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

“They’re really two bumbling fools trying to explore the big themes of life that, at some point in our existence, one would hope to explore for oneself,” Monaghan says.

“Who are we? Why are we here? What happens when we die? Does our death mean something? Does our life mean something? And that’s told by two clowns, which I think is profound.”

CTV Atlantic’s Katie Kelly interviews Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan on January 12, 2024.

Boyd met Neptune artistic director Jeremy Webb when he was in the region working on a previous project.

“We went out for a beer and I said, ‘I have this crazy idea, you know we’ve been talking about theatre, well what if you and Dom come to Halifax and we create the show there?’” Webb recalls.

Webb says the relationship between Boyd and Monaghan has been great for their characters.

“As you can imagine, those two already have that relationship,” Webb says.

“Normally when you rehearse a play, you bring the actors together and we have to develop that kind of friendship and relationship very quickly from day one. Well, they have that, so I don’t have to say ‘Hey guys, go to lunch and get to know each other.’”

The couple says they have enjoyed their time in Halifax so far.

“Billy has been a great tour guide,” Monaghan says.

“We could rent a car for maybe a week, when we start to feel like we’re really on top of things and drive out of Halifax and see a bit more of the countryside.”

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” will be on Neptune from January 30 to February 25.

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