25 May 2006

Ian McKellen E-Posts



22 February 2000

Q: How does the script stack up against previous scripts you have worked on?

A: I judge a script most by its ability to match its subject matter in style. So you wouldn't expect a movie of the X-Men comic to be written by Shakespeare or Mamet even. They would turn it into something totally their own. Our movie's scriptwriters have captured the tension and the urgency of the original very convincingly.

Q: I was wondering, how difficult has it been to cope with the tremendous expectations of the fan base out there?

A: It's perhaps beginning to take too much time - but I'm enjoying trying to understand it. I'm not too sure why the studios and the fansites seem to be in such opposition. Maybe moviemakers don't want to admit that there is a new source of criticism on the Net. But one that is amazingly informed and run by fans. The passion in the postings about X-Men is refreshing after the careful cinema journalism of the major newspapers wherever I travel. The industry will eventually embrace the already open arms of the best sites as they have done the Golden Globe and other television shows.

I shall always be grateful to "Ain't it Cool News" for its early rave for Gods and Monsters - the most crucially influential publicity the film ever had. The whole production team took heart from Harry.

Q: What do you believe to be the chief similarities and differences between American and British approaches to acting?

A: They overlap. I've seen master naturalistic screen actors give hammy performances on stage and superb stage actors misjudge the level of playing required for the movies. Crudely, the Britannia rules the theatre and the Americans rule the flicks.

Q. I was hoping you could tell when the X-Men trailer will be released and which movies will it be shown with?

A: I understand it will be showing in front of Pitch Black and The Whole Nine Yards beginning the weekend of 18 February in the US.  Here's a link that will take you to the trailer: 
http://apple.com/trailers/fox/x-men/index.html

Ian McKellen as Erik Lensherr/Magneto in X-Men
Magneto prepares to levitate some offending peace officers' vehicles

Q: I have heard that Halle Berry (Storm) has said that she was "reduced to" playing a comic book character.

A: Halle's observations about the scarcity of work for black women in Hollywood have obviously been misunderstood by some of the press. It was good to see the Hollywood Foreign Press Association offer the compensation of a Golden Globe for her heart-rending Dorothy Dandridge.

Q. Has Bryan Singer expressed any interest in directing a sequel?

A. Any sequel will depend on the success of the first movie.

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