Nun, da die Dreharbeiten beendet sind, ist Ian McKellen zurück im hektischen, dreckigen, aber dennoch prächtigen London.
In Neuseeland wohnte er in einem Haus, etwa 10 Minuten Fahrtzeit von Wellington entfernt, auf der gegenüberliegenden Seite des Meeresarms und nur wenige Minuten von den Filmstudios Three Foot Six Ltd entfernt, die Peter Jackson übrigens nach der Körpergröße der Hobbits benannt hat.
Er sei überwältigt gewesen von der Natur und der ungebändigten Wildnis in Neuseeland. Außerdem war der Aufenthalt eine tolle Gelegenheit Australien zu besuchen.
Den Original-Artikel könnt ihr unten lesen.
(Danke an Ringbearer!)
The original article:
Ian McKellen: It's dirty, it's exasperating, but it's also a glorious city
'After a year of small-town community and the beauties of New Zealand's wilderness, I was dreading my return to high-stress London'
18 March 2001
A year's work abroad isn't unusual or daunting for an actor – but a year in New Zealand? That was how long I would be needed there as Gandalf in the filming of Lord of the Rings. I'm indifferent to rugby and don't eat lamb but at least it seemed a good opportunity to visit Australia. Almost at once, however, New Zealand's allure won over and I managed only one weekend in Sydney for a wet and cold Mardi Gras.
To begin with, much is familiar. Cadbury's and Marmite are available. From my rented house across the estuary was the hamlet of Eastbourne. I was only 10 minutes' drive from the capital city of Wellington and even less from the film studios of Three Foot Six Ltd, which the director Peter Jackson named after the height of Tolkien's Hobbits. This was the first welcome change from filming in London, where Shepperton and Pinewood studios are an hour or more from home. The second was to be working in a beautiful and underpopulated country, where the unique ecology overwhelms the urban areas.
Eastbourne is scattered at the foot of rolling, bare hills empty of human activity. Back home, wherever I've rambled, it is almost impossible to avoid the sights and sounds of history and industry. From the summit of Great Gable, for example, with its view down to England's most isolated lake of Wastwater, the chimneys of the Sellafield nuclear power station gleam on the distant shore of Morecambe Bay. And too frequently these days, bomber pilots skim the tops on their deafening practice flights.
I knew, of course, that New Zealand is proudly nuclear free, but I was unprepared for its wilderness of rainforests and the alpine ranges where Edmund Hillary prepared himself for Everest, 50 years ago. Then, whole tracts of the South Island's fjordland were still uncharted. These days, the trampers over the mountainous tracks are limited through an advance-booking system.
On the west coast, where the logging of native trees has been recently halted by the Labour government, the roads that lead alongside the primeval forests to the glaciers are invariably empty. Outside the tourist centres there are no big hotels and there is little choice (even for film crews) but to sample the homestays, with a bed in the spare room and breakfast with the family. The friendly New Zealanders welcome tourists if they "leave only footprints and take nothing but photos". Their surroundings are unique and valued and cared for.
The Kiwis I worked with were as gently retiring as the national bird. The rumbustious All Blacks are not typical. High-flying is almost discouraged and ambitious tall poppies are not much admired. Time and again I met locals who had forsaken well-paid positions in Auckland for rural, more menial jobs, where life could be less stressful. "Community", too, is a treasured concept: witness the reparation for those Maori lands illegally taken over by the early European immigrants. With a population of only three million, nationhood is more tangible than in the UK...
[read on at Independent.co.uk]