Even if you haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings films — anyone? — chances are, you'll know Billy Boyd from another little flick he did this year, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. In both Master and Return of the King, the final film in the Rings trilogy, he stole scenes right out from under stars like Russell Crowe and Sir Ian McKellen. And that's just the way he likes it.

"Playing the lead is too hard," the affable actor jokes to TV Guide Online. "[It's easier to] just steal scenes. Sometimes, I think not all but a lot of lead characters are bit too straight down the middle. They have to anchor the film as they are playing [their roles]. So I'm kind of attracted to off-center characters."

His great supporting roles may get him in trouble come Oscar time, should Master and Commander and Return of the King go head to head. Especially since Master was a joint effort by three major film studios (20th Century Fox, Universal and Miramax). So what will Boyd, 35, do if reporters ask him which movie he'd most like to win an Academy Award for? "I would [choose] and make one studio really angry, and I'd never work with them again," he laughs. "So I'm not going to say a word."

Though he won't play favorites, Boyd is sorry the whole Rings experience is finally coming to an end. "It's really sad that we won't be working on this," he says with a sigh. "But it is good that the work is good and the story makes sense and that, in the future, people will be able to watch it as one story. It is just one story. It just happens to be over three movies. It is not as if we made one movie and then it was a success, and they thought, 'Oh, let's make another one.'

"It was such a special thing," he continues. "[The whole cast] all became such great friends. If J.R.R. Tolkien had written 50 books, we could have had a career doing this. [But only] if, in the fourth [Rings book], it said that the hobbits' feet got a lot smaller, so that we didn't have to put those [prosthetic] feet on!"