Ian McKellen E-Posts

"I am at your service.
What is it I can tell you?"

26 May 2006

OK TO CRITICIZE CHRISTIANITY?

From: Leslie

Q: To me it seems that the world is okay with making Jesus out to be a lie and the Holy Bible out to be a lie. If there were a book and/or movie about Mohammed marrying a "prostitute" and giving her rights to the thrown or even Buddha, let's say marrying a Black woman and fathering her kids all hell would break loose. People would not allow the disgrace of another religion and another "holy" doctrine. So why is it okay to disgrace Christianity?

A: I suppose you refer to the views of a fictional character in the novel (which I play in the film) The Da Vinci Code.  How can they possibly disgrace your beliefs, which (with regards to Christ's celibacy, remember) cannot by proved by either you nor Leigh Teabing?

MOVIEFONE UNSCRIPTED

From: Virginia Tokudomi

Q: I just saw the MovieFone Unscripted and was delighted to see you and Ron Howard trade questions. It almost seems like peeking in on a personal conversation between the both of you.

A: It was a fun alternative to answering the repetitious questions of journalists - asking them of each other!

PRODUCT PLACEMENT?

From: Stephanie

Q: I saw "The DaVinci Code!" I saw "The DaVinci Code!" I can't imagine what the reviewers were thinking when they complained that the movie had no action. Ian was magnificent; great scene of Teabing hitting on Sophie when he's introduced, Ian, did you have any problems learning the dialogue and performing in concert with fiddling with the tech-toys? I assume the digital image of the Last Supper was put in during post-production, or was it on the plasma screen for the actors to look at?

A: As I reported in Teabing's occasional Chronicle, I had a bit of difficulty spitting out the lines on that very bumpy journey away from Cháteau Villette to Teabing's plane.  Ron Howard said my stumblings would edit into something coherent and that anyway I hadn't been as wayward with the words as I felt, pressured by the feeling that any minute our vehicle would bash into a tree on the forest bridleway.  Back in his study, the Leonardo images were actually on the plasma screen as they appeared in the film.  In the original script, the paintings were in the pages of books, as in the novel.  During our rehearsals, I suggested that Teabing, as a modern academic, might use modern equipment in his research.  Typically, recognising an idea he liked, Ron acted on it.  I promise you I hadn't realised that Sony would be providing and promoting their product in their film.

A KNIFE?

Q: i have seen you in the da vinci code. I have bought a magasine with a picture of the last supper with Mary Magdalene, After close examination i have found that a disiple is holding a knife to another disiple. I was wondering if you could speak to someone and have a go on the technolagy that you used in your film and maybe you will see.  i am only 13 but i do think that there is a cover up on the matter.

A: Well spotted.  I think there is mention of the knife in the book, threatening, is it, the candidate that Jesus has chosen to succeed him?  Incidentally I have seen the original fresco in Milan, so faded that such details are unremarked.

THE FORCE

From: Amy Jade

Q: I watced your film Da Vinci Code This film makes certain of that god is unreal to me. I believe in the Force, but god is unreal to me.

A: I don't quite get your point but I see what you mean, I think.

REVIEWS

From: Jonathan King

Q: I recently viewed The Davinci Code and thought it was incredible and Im the harshest of movie critics. It offers everything a good summer movie should offer. I was so delighted I got goosebumps watching your performance. Some of the reviews have been quite harsh and I just hope that some of the beating it has taken from the press hasnt discouraged you or any of the other actors who graced this fine film. Any thoughts?

A: My first thought is thanks. My second is that the film is as good as the book, which detractors will not think is a compliment.

DON QUIXOTE

From: Paul Pinson

Q: In Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code, it describes Leigh as a "Don Quixote". I thought this term was well put, and in so I came with another thought: have you ever considered playing Don Quixote? You would fit it quite well based on your incredible performance in the Da Vinci Code. You'd fit the role whether it was Man of La Mancha or a motion picture.

A: To be in a musical is one of my remaining ambitions -- but nothing as musically demanding as the role I saw Richard Kiley in on Broadway, and which I'll never forget for the thrill on the ear.  I have been offered Don Quixote in a film version.  The humour of Cervantes, like some of Shakespeare's, is hard for a modern, non-Spanish, non-Catholic audience to access.

SCHOOL TIE

From: Enrique Landa

Q: Brilliant choice of ties in the Davinci Code! Saw the film in Santa Barbara last night and noticed a curious delivery of the "Oxford question" in the film and then you came down the stairs with the most appropriate neckwear, making Cambridge proud.

A: You are nearly right -- that is Teabing's old school tie -- from Eton College, the preferred secondary school close by Windsor Castle where the rich and the royal educate their boys away from home, with every educational privilege that money can buy.

For more about The Da Vinci Code be sure to read

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