"I emotionally had my end in June when we finished the last of the pick-ups," Elijah Wood told UPI's Karen Butler Tuesday.
"And it was then that I was able to try to reconcile the fact that it had come to an end and say goodbye to New Zealand and the crew and the cast in that context. It was the end of our experience making these films and that was very difficult, very emotional, very difficult to conceive that the end had actually, finally reached us.
"For the longest time, it sort of seemed like it would never end ... and it kind of lulled us into a false sense of security that we would just kind of carry on working on these movies for the rest of our lives."
Wood says he and the cast are still close, adding he expects the bonds formed on the set will last forever.
"The friendships made, which is the greatest thing I can take away from the experience, will carry on even after we don't have anything to do on these movies again," he adds. "We'll know each other for the rest of our lives."
The final movie in the trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," opened Tuesday at midnight.