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”

  • Pin It

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

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/watch-andy-serkis-talks-motion-c.jpg
Watch: Andy Serkis Talks Motion Capture, His Career and More
This week saw the release of the final film in The Lord of the Rings saga, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Out of the dozens of actors who appeared in the series, the one whose career was most defined by the six-film franchise is Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum in the series […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/dan-stevens-summer-in-february.jpg
Dan Stevens Recalls When Shia LaBeouf Disrupted One of His Broadway Performances: “I wish I’d had a broadsword then”
Though Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is billed as the final movie in the fantasy series, it still incorporates some new blood into the mix alongside franchise favorites like Ben Stiller and Robin Williams. The most significant new addition is Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey, who plays Lancelot. Lancelot doesn’t realize that […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/bradley-cooper-the-elephant-man.jpg
Bradley Cooper Takes A Grad School Dream To The Broadway Stage With, ‘The Elephant Man’
Bradley Cooper is proving to be an actor who wants a career defined by strong work. Instead of solely relying upon franchises like The Hangover, the Oscar nominee is mixing it up again between the big screen and the stage. Cooper is starring in The Elephant Man on Broadway this theatre season. It’s a role […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/bob-balaban-a-delicate-balance.jpg
Bob Balaban on Being a Character Actor: “It’s what I do and who I am and I really enjoy it”
With Glenn Close and John Lithgow in the cast of Broadway’s A Delicate Balance, it’s okay if you didn’t notice that veteran actor Bob Balaban is also in the cast. Balaban, who is probably best known for his roles in Christopher Guest‘s mockumentaries and for his supporting roles in dozens of other films, has returned […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/michael-c-hall-hedwig.jpg
Michael C. Hall on His Broadway Life After ‘Dexter': “There was a desire to perform an exorcism”
When it was announced that Michael C. Hall was replacing Andrew Rannells in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, it was a bit of a surprise. It wasn’t that people thought Hall couldn’t pull off the role of a transgender rock star — he was previously on Broadway as the Master of Ceremonies in […]