Ian McKellen E-Posts

"Mercy!" cried Gandalf: "if the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What do you want to know?"

22 June 2004

WHERE'S SARUMAN?

From: Sofi

Q: What is your reaction to Christopher Lee's scenes being cut out of 'The Return of the King', when they are such a vital part of the book? Will they appear in the extended version of the film?

A: There is certainly another Saruman scene for the extended DVD.

CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN

Q: Since I saw the two parts of lord of the rings I have this strong need inside of me to address my thanks to at least one of the members of this remarkable crew. I read the books for the first time when I was eighteen, now I'm 40 years old and still read them every year, now I do this with my children, 11 and 14. When I first heard about the plan to make a film of these books I felt a little bit like I felt when the building of the channel tube to the UK was announced. This was something unthinkable! When the film started in the cinemas here in Germany I was in there on the first evening, thinking of myself as a kind of "moral guardian", "defender of the Tolkien world". The great seriousness, the tremendous amount of awe and respect with which you all handled the vision of Professor Tolkien quieted me completely. I want to thank you all for a masterpiece made from a masterpiece, something that has for the first time the same right to find a place in my bookshelf as my books have. There is only one question left. I have not seen in any documentary anything concerning the reaction of the Tolkien Family, especially Christopher. As far as I know he is still alive and well and is the last one working on the writings of his father. Did you get any response from him?

A: I have not met Christopher Tolkien, the surviving son of the author, so cannot report more than what I have heard, that his protective attitude to his father's estate has led him to disapprove somewhat of the films, which he may not yet have seen. Yet Tolkien senior sold the film rights and younger members of the family are enthusiastic about the first two movies.

LOTR FOR THE MARCHING BAND

From: Conner

Q: I first was motivated to see the LOTR movies because our marching band has marched to "The Fellowship of the Rings" and "The Two Towers". We are located in Plainview, TX. Our website is www.powerhouseoftheplains.org . We have won 65 Division 1 ratings in a row. It is a state and maybe even a national record. This fall we will be marching to "The Return of the King" and for Division 1 number 66, if ya'll would like to come see us.

A: I'm sorry I can't get to see you play in person because I like the look of your dramatic photos on the website: a pity the video and sound isn't working yet. Oompa oompa! The first music I enjoyed as a kid was each Sunday in the local park where a brass band played in the bandstand - popular classics as well as the hit parade numbers.


The Plainview High School Band performs The Lord of the Rings

GREY HAVENS

From: arjun

Q: hello. i'm a 18 yr old from india. i'm a die-hard fan of GANDALF and lotr. why do all the ring bearers go to the GREY HAVENS at the end? what on middle earth is grey havens?

A: I suggest you read J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings on which the films are based. The Grey Havens are a version of everlasting life where the weary (like Gandalf and Bilbo and Frodo) can escape for a well-deserved rest.

TELL ME

Q: Hi! My name is Lára and I'm from Iceland! I'm 12 years old! Can you tell me anything about: You? Elijah Wood? Orlando Bloom? Please!

A: I am flattered that your interest in Elwood (as he calls himself) and in Orlando stretches as far as me! I can't tell you much more about myself than can discover on this site. As for the other two try searching IMDb, Google or Yahoo etc.

WHAT WAS IN THOSE PIPES?

From: Rick Montgomery

Q: I heard a rumor that You and Ian Holm were smoking pot in the smoking scene of FOTR. I doubt that this is true, but I have found plenty of information that says Peter Jackson directed you to act as if you were smoking pot- This seems a little more credible- is it true?

A: In his introduction to the novel, Tolkien has a short treatise on Hobbits and smoking which suggests that Middle-earth grew a strain of niccotine rather than of cannabis. The two Ians blamelessly smoked herbal tobacco on set, although you are right that we discussed whether its effects shouldn't be akin to a narcotic. That certainly could explain the high acting from Merry and Pippin in Return of the King, when they meet up with Gandalf and others in the company of Treebeard. In New Zealand there is much wondrous plant life, including grasses of many varieties.

THE BALROG

From: Elliot Mather

Q: In the first of Lord of the Rings movies Gandalf explains a bit about the Balrog to the rest of the fellowship. Has Gandalf met the Balrog before or is it because he knows of the history of creatures?

A: Gandalf knows most things about Middle-earth and its inhabitants, and knows that a Balrog haunts the mines of Moria, which he has visited before the fateful journey with the Fellowship. Whether there was a previous encounter with the monster I don't know.

FANGIRLS

Q: Since the inception of the LotR fans, much of the male cast has gained new legions of fangirls — those terms referring to squealing, romantically inclined fans. Not all of them, however, are just giggling over Aragorn or Legolas, but the stately Gandalf as well. How do you feel about any newly gained fangirls?

A: There was concern early on that Lord of the Rings was very much a boys only tale but I always suspected that girls would enjoy the movies with so many attractive men involved. It's been great to meet so many of Gandalf's fans, male and female.

  

MAGNETO V GANDALF

Q: Magneto Vs Gandalf? After hours of arguments between me (Magneto fan) and a friend (Gandalf fan) we have decided that only your opinion can settle the argument. So, who'd win in a fight between Gandalf the grey/white/blue/green whatever and Magneto? Please bear in mind that the ring is metal. ;)

A: I suspect the Wizard would try and persuade the Master of Magnetism to the side of the Fellowship but if it came to a fight, my money is on Gandalf. He is simply more experienced.

  

LIVE ON STAGE

Q: Hello, my name is Simone Lipinski and me and my friends (we are from Germany) are planning a trip to the UK to see Billy Boyd on stage in Scotland. But now (cuz we are big fans of Ian McKellen too) we want to know when Ian is on stage again and where? I think the trip will be in summer so do you know if there is any chance to see Ian on stage then?

A: I shan't be onstage until December in Aladdin at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

TATTOO

From: Another rabid fan

Q: Would you mind flashing us your tattoo?

A: That's the sort of thing I only do in private.

  

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Additional E-Posts about LOTR may be found in

The Lord of the Rings

DVD Release date 26 August 2003