Sir Ian McKellen on Acting and Auditions

Sir Ian McKellen returned to his old school, the Bolton School Boys’ Division, and passed on some acting tidbits to its current drama students.

“You can’t act unless you are totally relaxed, and by that I mean you haven’t a care in the world,” he said. “Of course you can’t be relaxed at an audition and so that’s probably when you do your worst acting.”

He also said that when he started acting in films and TV, he would feel a certain amount of discomfort with the crew watching. “They would be watching so intently — it took me years to realise they were there to help,” he said.

And finally he reveals: “I don’t know anything about acting, really. I just do it — there’s nothing clever about it.”

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