"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?"
10 July 2002
From: Jazzziered@aol.com Jessie
Q: I would love to just say that I was heart-broken over your loss at
the Oscars yet again this year.. I thought for sure you would win for
not only your stellar performance in LOTR, but also for your history of
wonderful past performances in movies such as Gods and Monsters.
A: Oh please don't you (or the hundreds of others who kindly
mailed me) be heart-broken on my behalf. The disappointment lasts no
time at all and how could I resent Jim Broadbent (Buckingham to my Richard
III) winning instead. He gave two spiffing performances in the same
year and he deserved the prize. That is not to say that the rest of us
Jim Broadbent (Buckingham) and Ian McKellen (Richard) in Richard
Photo by Alex Bailey
Q: Even if the Academy didn't give you your Oscar, YOU are the true
winner for me! And what did you think of the Cirque Du Soleil
presentation? (They come from Quebec, where I live...)
A: Cirque du Soleil wittily addressed the irony of the Academy
Awards which is after all a stage show televised in honour of cinema! By
mixing film and live action (not unlike the Terminator show at Universal
Studios) they dominated the Oscars artistically I thought, from my view
in the wings where Maggie Smith and I had retreated after our
From: dnightmair Donna Mair
Q: I watched the Screen Actors' Guild Awards and thought the
introduction you gave was phenomenal. I was wondering if you wrote it
yourself? Also, is there a current list anywhere of how many awards
(north american)the film has been nominated for or won?
A: I did write the SAG introduction. Doesn't the official
LOTRings site (www.lordoftherings.net)
carry awards credits?
Q: In the beginning of the film did you have to wear stilts for the
scene where Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins have an argument about the ring?
When I went to see everyone at the premiere of L.O.T.R you seemed to be
a little shorter than in the film!!
A: Your and many another burning question are answered in early
passages of the Grey Book on
this site. As for being short, I must have been standing next to
Q: I recently watched a piece on New Zealand television of the Haka
that was performed before Peter Jackson & the other LOTR family
members prior to the Oscars. The obvious reverence of all those present
made me feel very emotional. It was great to see that you were wearing
an 'I Love NZ' t-shirt and also that you had on a greenstone pendant -
your own piece of Godzone. Hopefully you will be back 'home' soon.
A: Yes I've been back home read all about it in The
Q: A naughty question: don't you feel a bit disappointed for
receiving an Oscar nomination for playing Gandalf after so many years
spent playing Shakespeare?
A: Not naughty at all and I don't feel any disappointment
about nominations or prizes they are all gratefully received. And
after Shakespeare, Chekov, Ibsen, Stoppard, Shaffer etc, Tolkien
doesn't seem like an inferior to me.
Q: I have seen the movie 5 times, and not yet have I been able to
understand your last line. More specifically, as you are hanging from
the bridge at Khazad-Dum, you say "_____ you fools!" Could you
repeat it for me? It's killing me.
A: Oh dear. "Fly, you fools" is the line which I hope
on a sixth viewing might be more audible. You could always have checked
in the novel...
Q: I had the great pleasure of meeting you at a recent book signing at
Book Soup in Hollywood. What were your impressions of the fans there and
how much do you enjoy participating in such events?
A: Book Soup is one of my favourite shops and it was rewarding
that so many stood in line for so long - I felt a bit like Father
Christmas. The most affecting fans were those who had come as families,
confirming Tolkien's appeal across the generations.
Book Soup, West Hollywood, 19 January 2002
Photo by Keith Stern
Q: I heard that everyone in the fellowship got tattoos. Did you also get
one and if so where is it?
A: The Fellowship tattoos (they say "nine" in Elvish)
were imprinted one Sunday in Wellington, late in 2000. Mine is on my
upper right arm where upsidedown (the only way I ever see it) it seems
to spell "Gucci". It was an idea of the hobbit actors who have
subsequently persuaded Peter Jackson, Barrie Osbourne and Mark Ordesky
to have their own tattoos these are "Ten" in Elvish.
Q: Sir Ian, I am 15 years old. Honestly, I was won over to a true
McKellen fan during your performance as Magneto in X-men, which I now
own. Something about a true villain who isn't just evil for no apparent
reason just fascinates me. However, I was blown away completely by this
new film, and you can believe I will wait around the next two years for
the other two. I would really love to hear more about the actors
yourselves. Seeing them on screen makes me wonder if Viggo Mortensen and
Sean Bean really are friends, and fighters. I wonder also if Ian
McKellen and Bilbo Baggins really keep in touch, and share their
adventures. PS- Why did Boromir have to die? I loved him! To be quite
honest, he added a little for me personally so far as scenery goes.
A: My dear Sarah I'm glad you like actors but you know the most
interesting part of most of us is our acting not our private lives. But
that's not true of Viggo Mortensen, poet, painter and photographer. He
and Sean Bean are the best of mates and two of the most peaceable hunks
you could hope to laugh and drink with. I caught up with Ian Holm in New
York two months ago where he is preparing to live and work for a bit. Ps
- That's death for you it's hard for the survivors. If the scenery
didn't impress, wait for the opening shot in The Two Towers!
Additional E-Posts about LOTR may be found in
The Lord of the Rings