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The IGN Sir Ian McKellen Interview

; Quelle: IGN

PLUME: That brings us to the continuing adventure in regards to the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy…

MCKELLEN: Anyone interested in the answer to that question should read my diary, which comes out about once a month on my website. I`ve been telling the story of that as it proceeds… I did the same thing with X-Men as well. Peter Jackson says it`s the biggest film ever made – the most ambitious film ever made, in terms of logistics and technicalities. It`s an absolutely mammoth project. What`s rather appealing is that it`s all happening in New Zealand. It`s a New Zealand film – it`s financed from America with a few foreigners like myself brought in to help out, but it was dreamt up by a New Zealander, directed by one, the script writers are New Zealanders, most of the crew are… The amazing effects and props and costumes will be designed and made there in workshops. It feels like making a home movie, in that sense. Everyone`s friends and knows each other. It`s very pleasant to visit them, and they live in the most beautiful landscape – which, again, are New Zealand and very crucial to the effect of the film. It`s a moving and important myth that you are involved in, so it`s totally satisfying.

PLUME: And, again, it was the script that brought you to it?

MCKELLEN: I think it was meeting Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, his partner. They have an air of hippie-dom about them, but what I mistook for being hippies is, in fact, that they are New Zealanders. They`re modest people… They`re passionate… They`re not showy people… Their egos are nicely in place. They`re not related to the rat race at all. They know they live in the most beautiful country in the world, and they have no ambitions to leave it, and they`re very happy to have invented a structure there whereby they can make – and hopefully pull off – this amazing project. When you`re there, you feel there`s nothing much happening in the whole world but his film, so that`s rather alluring. If you`re making a movie in Hollywood or London, well, the Queen lives in London and Spielberg lives in Hollywood – there are other things going on. But in New Zealand, it`s just us, really. You sense that, "Hmm… This is something really important."

PLUME: And you`ve gone from portraying one iconic pop-culture character, in Magneto, to another, in Gandalf…

MCKELLEN: In a year`s time or so, my Magneto doll will be able to zap my Gandalf doll, and I don`t know who`s going to win.

PLUME: And who would you prefer to win?

MCKELLEN: Oh no, no… I don`t take sides with my characters.

PLUME: Do you enjoy portraying Gandalf? You get to portray many different shades of the character…

MCKELLEN: There`s Gandalf the Gray and there`s Gandalf the White, yes. I`ve nearly finished with the Gray now. We`ve nearly finished the first film, but done lots in the other two, really. I think Gandalf the Gray is my favorite. He`s more human than Gandalf the White… he enjoys a smoke and the company of the Hobbits and lets his hair down a bit, and relaxes and makes jokes.

PLUME: With Gandalf the White being more straight-laced…

MCKELLEN: Well, with Gandalf the White, he`s really up against it and the stakes are higher. He`s come back and he really has to complete the job, so he hasn`t much time for relaxing and fooling around – he`s got to get on with the job.

PLUME: Speaking of getting on with the job, as we wrap this up, what is in your future? Do you have any projects locked down yet?

MCKELLEN: No. It`ll probably be a play, because I want to do a play soon. I was thinking the other day, "Hmmmm…What would it be fun to be doing when Lord of the Rings opens in Christmas 2001?" I thought the really cheeky thing would be to be doing a musical on Broadway, but I don`t see one in the offing. There are a couple of films that are there, but I`d be surprised if I didn`t do a play next year sometime.

PLUME: Is that generally your way of getting a change of pace and unwinding after a film?

MCKELLEN: Not necessarily… I went straight from X-Men to doing Lord of the Rings, but I will have been doing film non-stop for 18 months. I miss the theater. I don`t pine for it, but every so often I think I`m going to need to do it again. Again, the circumstances would have to be right, and it would have to be a play I really want to do and a director I really want to work with and I have to make sure the theater is the right size… All those sorts of things. If they all come together, I think that`s the thing I`ll be most likely to be doing.


you will find the complete interview here .


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