by Elizabeth Snead
British Gothic horror film icon Christopher Lee won't slow down. The 77-year-old actor, who plays the baritone-voiced burgomaster in the opening of Sleepy Hollow, will fly to New Zealand in January to appear in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Lee will spend two months playing the white wizard Saruman, who is Gandalf's (Ian McKellen) mortal enemy and tries to rule Middle Earth and the hobbits.
Lee recalls reading the trilogy back in the '60s, during his days playing Dracula in various Hammer studio films.
"I was just beginning as an actor, and I thought, 'Oh, wouldn't it be wonderful if this film is made, and wouldn't it be even more wonderful if I was able to play Saruman?' " Lee says by phone from his London home. "Touch wood, I will be. It's a dream come true."
Lee also plays Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, in Jinnah (seeking a distributor) and might reprise his role as Duc de Richleau in a much-talked-about rename of 1968's The Devil Rides Out.