25 May 2006

Ian McKellen E-Posts



9 May 2000

Q: In the online X-Men full trailer I LOVE that last line! Patrick Stewart: "Mankind is evolving..." Yourself: "Not any more." AWESOME delivery!

A: Thank you kindly - but the odd thing is that my line is taken out of context and in the finished movie will be addressed to another character, albeit about the same topic. 

From: jbengio316@yahoo.com

Q: If it were possible, would you want to possess Magneto's powers or those of another mutant? Just curious...

A: As you know, the X-Men have great difficulty controlling their powers and I don't therefore envy them. 

However, these days, when so many people feel it appropriate to say so many silly things about my own mutancy, I should quite relish the power to zap such homophobes and get them to keep their mouths shut and leave gay people in peace. 

Q: What will the movie be rated?

A: Each country has its own system of film censorship and/or advisory labelling. This can't be done of course until the film is completed for public release.

From: Jim Vowles jvowles@earthlink.net

Q: To what extent are your current roles built on the power of performance, and on your personal experience of being misunderstood—having to cloak your true nature (as Gandalf does) or being despised for it (as Magneto is)?

A: I suppose all actors feed off their own experience and I invariably (in preparation or rehearsal) use my own feelings as a substitute for the character's. So, as Magneto, in responding to Senator Kelly's anti-mutant tirade (cf official X-Men site), I pretended to myself that I was being attacked by Senator Jesse Helms, the notorious homophobe. Out came my indignation and anger which, expressed through Magneto's voice, manner and character, seem to have been convincing. This does not of course mean that I play him as gay man.

From: David Bertoni dbertoni@brannlaw.com

Q: One concern I have is that, in many "mainstream" movies, the characters are too "pretty" to be realistic—selected more for looks than acting ability. Is this going to be Mutants 90210?

A: "Prettiness" is in the eye of the beholder of course but I see nothing wrong in good actors who are also good lookers.

From: Rick rdemedeiro@aol.com

Q: What do you think are Magneto's redeeming qualities and is there a scene in the movie where your character noticeably "snaps" and forever decides to be evil and oppose Xavier, instead of teaming up with him and his ideology?

A: My judgement of Magneto's characteristics and behaviour is irrelevant. I play him as a man who knows he is right. The disagreement between him and Xavier is of long standing. Evil is in the eye of the beholder and of the victim. How this is plotted in the movie can be discovered at the July premiere in New York.

From: Leonard

Q: The story of the X-Men deals with some very strong issues like racism, bigotry and prejudice. How do you feel that these are presented in the movie? And what character do you identify with most besides Magneto?

A: These issues are at the heart of the argument between Magneto and Xavier in the movie. In regard to my own involvement with politics, I sympathise more with the Professor than his old friend.

Q: I wonder if Professor X's wheelchair will be able to fly in the movie. Also will any of the X-Men characters be able to fly in the movie?

A: I must be careful not to give anything away but the answers to your questions are "No" and "Yes" though not necessarily in that order.

For more about X-Men be sure to read Magneto's Lair and

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