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

Watch: Daniel Radcliffe on the Differences Between American and British Theater Audiences
Though moviegoers can see Daniel Radcliffe in the fantasy film Horns, which opens today, Broadway fans will have to wait a bit longer. Radcliffe is an unapologetic fan of Broadway — he has starred in Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Cripple of Inishmaan — but he hasn’t yet made […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-jacki-weaver-and.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver and Virginia Kull on ‘Gracepoint’ and Strong Female Roles on TV
The actresses also speak candidly about how they feel about their characters in the series and why its important for TV to feature series with strong female leads.Check out the conversation above!
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-cristin-milioti-talks-a-to.jpg
Watch: Cristin Milioti Talks ‘A to Z’, ‘Once’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Few actresses have the kind of rise as Cristin Milioti has had in the last few years. A virtual unknown in 2011, she became a bona fide Broadway star in the 2012 hit Once, appeared in a supporting role in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, and was featured as the titular mother […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-bryan-cranstons-acting-adv.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston’s Acting Advice
With Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Barrel being released on Blu-ray with all kinds of goodies today, it gives us yet another opportunity to reflect on the series’ star Bryan Cranston and all of the incredible advice he has offered actors in the wake of his success. In a video he filmed in 2013 for […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/alex-sharp-curious-incident-of-the-dog.jpg
Alex Sharp Talks About His Broadway Debut in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ (video)
Alex Sharp went from working in a call-center and renovating houses to going to Julliard. And now, he’s starring in one of the most talked about shows of the season, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Check out this great, inspiring video!