Sir Ian McKellen has reached that stage in his career where he is presented with awards for his acting work over the many years he’s been in the business, and McKellen recently travelled to Spain for the San Sebastian Film Festival to collect such an award. While there Rotten Tomatoes got the chance to interview him and The Hobbit was obviously a key talking point.
…it was McKellen who raised the wizard’s name before we asked, rather controversially declaring to RT, “I don’t want to play Gandalf again.”
But before a million Rings fans cry out in terror at the thought of another thesp stepping into the role, McKellen was actually discussing the risk of typecasting the wake of a big success. “If you play a part that gets an awful lot of attention,” he explained, “forever after you’re being asked by directors to play the same part in their movie. But I played the best wizard, and I’m happy to revisit him, which I shall do in The Hobbit with Guillermo del Toro.”
“Grey Gandalf is my favourite,” he told us. “Peter Jackson’s too, we always preferred Gandalf the Grey. Peter liked him because he got down and dirty. He slept in the hedgerows; he was closer to the earth and not quite so spiritual. He’s also funnier — he’s got more variety to him. We thought there was more scope in that Gandalf.”
My favourite was Gandalf the White, probably because he was the one who we saw onscreen the most and he kicked Orc ass, however we only saw Gandalf the Grey during the first half of Fellowship of the Ring so it’ll be cool to see more of Gandalf pre-you shall not pass!
The Hobbit will begin filming next year, and Ian McKellen is expected to wield his staff again after 9 years when he travels to New Zealand in March.