Happy birthday, Austin resident Elijah Wood!

Unto us, in 1981, a hobbit was born.

While it may not be entirely fair to typecast actor Elijah Wood like that, the fact remains that the “Lord of the Rings” star and Austin homeowner turns 35 on Thursday. We know, we couldn’t believe it’s been that long, either. We remember seeing trailers for “North.”

Elijah Wood at the Stephen F. Austin hotel on Sunday, March 13, 2005. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)
Elijah Wood at the Stephen F. Austin hotel on Sunday, March 13, 2005. (Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman)

In celebration of the erstwhile “Happy Feet” penguin, we dug through our archives for a little Elijah love on this most auspicious of days.

• In 2013, the “Wilfred” star bought a Victorian-style mansion in South Austin for $1 million. It’s around Bouldin Creek Cafe. Can’t miss it.

• He’s been spotted around town at local hotspots, including South Congress, Whole Foods and Sixth Street’s Easy Tiger bakery and beer garden. According to a 2013 story, he also has worked regularly with Rooster Teeth.

• Before he called it home, Wood came to Austin to work on “The Faculty,” a 1998 movie from hometown hero Robert Rodriguez about a group of students who suspect that their schoolteachers are actually aliens. At the time, American-Statesman film critic Chris Garcia only mentioned Wood in his review of the film by way of a comparison to “The Breakfast Club”: “We’re witness to the parade of pubescent archetypes — gloomy outcast, jock, rebel studmuffin, new girl and hopeless nerd — recast as air-brushed, Fox-ready cuties,” Garcia wrote. “Elijah Wood takes the Anthony Michael Hall role, Clea DuVall is Ally Sheedy, Josh Hartnett becomes Judd Nelson, and so on. The nubile cast is surprisingly strong.”

• The American-Statesman also talked to Wood about his love of Fantastic Fest and return to Austin in 2014.

“I started coming back to Austin, initially because of South by Southwest, and my brother lived there for five years,” Wood said. “It always felt like home. … And I felt for a long time that I should live there, so I just decided to buy a home.”

Happy birthday, Elijah. We thought you were great in “Sin City.”

And in that one Beastie Boys video.
And in that one Beastie Boys video.

Austin’s cutest couple contest 2016: A poem

Pam and Chris LeBlanc smooch at the Puppy Love mural outside Mud Puppies on East Riverside Drive.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Do you and your sweetie have a love so true?

If you both live in Austin
and think your love’s the best…
You should enter our cutest couples contest!

If you’re voted the winners,
you and your honey will eat
at one of Austin’s finest restaurants – our treat!

So enter a photo
and tell us your story.
The two of you may bask in a year’s worth of glory.

For those of you Austinites
without a partner in crime,
vote for the couple whose love is sublime.

2016’s cutest couple
is out there somewhere.
It’s time to pick ’em out – love is in the air!


The facts: Enter until Feb. 3, vote until Feb. 10. Please only enter a photo in which you are a part of the couple. The photo with the most votes by Feb. 10 will win a $100 gift card to one of the top restaurants in Austin, according to our restaurant critic, Matthew Odam. See full rules and more at the contest homepage.

5 ways to get ready for the return of ‘The X-Files’

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in "The X-Files: Reopened." (Ed Araquel/FOX via AP)
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in “The X-Files: Reopened.” (Ed Araquel/FOX via AP)

The wait is almost over, “X-Files” fans: We’re just two days away from the premiere of the 10th season miniseries “The X-Files: Reopened” (9 p.m. Sunday on Fox), and we’ve got a few ways for you to prepare this weekend:

Find out what’s in store for the six-episode revival. We’ll see the return of several cast favorites, both mythology and standalone episodes, and a post-9/11 update, to name a few. Brush up on what else to expect with this primer from the American-Statesman’s Mary Huber.

Get caught up. It’s too late to binge-watch all nine seasons before Sunday’s premiere, but there’s a shortcut: Find out which episodes to watch and which ones to skip with this guide to essential viewing, which pares the series down from 202 episodes to a, uh, manageable 64 (better get started).

Travel through the series. If spending your entire weekend binge-watching (and not sleeping) is out of the question, check out this interactive map of every “X-Files” location – including episode summaries – instead. The show never made it to Austin, but it did make stops in Houston, Dallas and the fictional town of Cheney, Texas.

See an “X-Files” actor in Austin. Mitch Pileggi, also known as FBI assistant director Walter Skinner, stars in the family drama “Tribes” at the Zach Theatre starting next week. Learn more about the show and how to get tickets here.

Go behind the scenes. Show creator Chris Carter and leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are joined by costars and other key players in this preview. Watch below: