Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood yesterday compared the UK to Middle-earth and told Scots to "go for it" when he was asked about Scottish independence.

The US actor was in Edinburgh yesterday posing on the red carpet ahead of the premiere of his new film, Set Fire to the Stars, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Wood, known for playing Hobbit Frodo Baggins, was joking with cast members, before he spoke to Scottish fans.

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He said: "It's wonderful to be in Edinburgh. I've not been to this festival in many years so I was excited that we were going to be premiering our film here.

"I've been here a couple of times before. I love the people, I love the landscapes. Edinburgh's a really beautiful city. Glasgow is great too.

"I think Scotland is a bit like Middle-Earth - all of the UK kind of is, a bit of England as well, a bit of Ireland."

And when asked what he thought about Scottish independence, Wood said: "The independence of Scotland? Go for it, man!"

Set Fire to the Stars is a semi-biographical drama based on the life of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

The black-and-white film focuses on a week in the life of the writer as he prepares for a series of performed readings in the US.

Wood plays John Malcolm Brinnin, a mentor-figure who embarks on a turbulent journey with the poet.

Wood said: "I'm looking forward to seeing the fully finished version."