Pin It

Ian McKellen Seriously Considered Not Returning to Play Gandalf: “The business of getting to know a new character – I was sort of going to be robbed of that”

Bgandalf-ian-mckellenelieve it or not, Sir Ian McKellen had reservations about returning to his role as Gandalf for The Hobbit movies, which are prequels to the beloved Lord of the Rings films. 

The acclaimed McKellen — the only member of the Lord of the Rings cast to be nominated for an Oscar — told The Hollywood Reporter that his biggest concern was not being able to discover a new character as an actor.  He explained, “It was a little like going back to something that wasn’t necessarily going to be particularly challenging.  Gandalf is still inside me, as it were, so the business of getting to know a new character — I was sort of going to be robbed of that.”  Another drawback were the lengthy hours of shooting the film series, which actually won’t finish shooting until June 2013 despite the first film being released in December. 

Ultimately, McKellen thought of the consequences of not starring in the film after talking it over with a friend.  He said, “You felt, how many millions of people are waiting for it? They wouldn’t understand if you weren’t as keen as they were.”

However, don’t let McKellen’s doubts get to you:  he admits that playing Gandalf the Grey (as he did in the first Lord of the Rings movie) is a lot more fun than playing Gandalf the White (as he did in the second and third films), and that fun is hard to hide when shooting.  He reveals that while on set, “I was joking around and one of the other actors said, ‘Stop it, Ian,’ and he was quite right.”  But why play an all-powerful wizard if you can’t have a little fun, right?

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

The Cast of ‘Mad Men’ on the Final Season and More
Though the AMC television series Mad Men might not carry the same cultural weight that it did a few years ago (splitting your final season over two years might do that to you), the second half of the show’s final season is expected to be full of powerful performances from its ensemble cast. With the […]
Watch: Ron Perlman on His Father’s Influence on His Early Career
Ron Perlman is a prolific actor, and he has also lent his distinctive voice to a number of projects in film and television — including the new animated film The Book of Life. One of the reasons that Perlman works so hard is not only because he loves being an actor, but because of what […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cate-blanchett-asks-graduating-s.jpg
Cate Blanchett Asks Graduating Students a Heavy Question: “What the hell can you do with an arts degree?”
“What the hell can you do with an arts degree?” Many actors ask themselves that when they find themselves struggling to make it in Hollywood while saddled with student loans. It was Cate Blanchett who posed that question recently to graduating students at Macquarie University in Sydney where she received an honorary doctorate degree. The […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/matthew-mcconaughey-rallies-his.jpg
Matthew McConaughey Rallies his Alma Mater Football Team to Victory with the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Chant
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey delivered a different kind of speech two weeks ago when he spoke with the Texas Longhorns football team after their close 20-17 loss to UCLA. The moment was a bit odd, but hilarious at the same time. Coach Charlie Strong was the one who invited the Dallas Buyers Club star to inspire the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-reveals-her-awkw.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn Reveals Her Awkward ‘Breaking Bad’ Audition Details
Though Breaking Bad was obviously a career highpoint for every actor involved, they all must move on to their next projects (except for the few who are involved in the Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul). This includes Anna Gunn, who portrayed Walter White’s wife Skyler on the award-winning series series. Gunn’s new series, the […]