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?"

28 October 2003


From: tiffany

Q: I was wondering if you ever get really nervous before you have to go on camera or on stage to perform. Also im from Australia and i wanted to know if you have ever gone to western australia for a holiday?(unlikely but you really should because we never get any cool people like you coming here!!!) well i hope you come to australia

A: I am one of those rare actors who doesn't get nervous before acting onstage. When I started out in films nearly 40 years ago, I was often too self-conscious to work well in front of the camera. I have trained myself to relax on set, although of course I am often worried and apprehensive.

I shall be onstage at the Theatre Royal during the Sydney Arts Festival in January and February 2004, when I also hope to travel in your continent.

[Webmaster's Note: Tickets for Dance of Death in Sydney will go on sale 7 November.]


From: Simone (Milailee)

Q: Did Gandalf die again in part three ? I hope not. My brother will does`nt tell me and I have read only Lord of the ring part one. And I am so curious. sorry for my bad english. But I am from Germany. The best wishes

A: The secret is out — Gandalf stays with the Fellowship to the very end of the story. Indeed he is more central to the adventures of the third film than he was in the second.


Q: I am currently a member of a tribute site for the extra who played Erestor in the council of Elrond scene. His name is Jonathan Harding and he is the elf who sits on Elrond's left in the council scene - next to Frodo and yourself. Could you spare a moment to write a private message for him and I will put it up on his forum?

A: By all means send my best wishes to Jon and tell him I hope we meet up again when I am in Wellington for the world premiere of Return of the King on 1 December 2003.


From: Anders andersll@mail.com

Q: just wondering why you werent at the world/european premiere of the two towers in Paris last december? I was there after winning a ticket, and was really looking forward to talking with you!! Instead I had to settle for John Rhys Davis (what a great guy) and Barrie Osborne (equally great)..

A: I missed out on all the fun last year because I was busy filming Emile in Canada. This time, I was determined to clear my diary so I can join in properly. I think Paris is again on the schedule. 



From: Barb Hansen

Q: I just wanted to tell you that our group here in Seattle WA just purchased a seat at the Wellington Embassy Theater in the lounge section. We are the NorthWesternesse from Seattle WA. Would you please sit in our chair??? And just so you know I have registered for the AIDS walk again in your honor as promised. My daughters and I will try to raise even more this year!

A: I expect seats have already been reserved for the cast but thanks for the offer — also for your contribution to AIDS fund-raising. I really enjoyed walking with you last year in Seattle.



From: richgomito@hotmail.com Rich

Q: I happen to be taking the trip of a lifetime to New York from the 15th to the 22nd of December, i really want to be wherever the US premier of the Return of the King is to be held. Where abouts will it be and who do i have to beg for a ticket? I dont suppose you have a spare couple for me and my girlfriend it would make my decade! Thank you for your dedication to British theatre despite all of your international demands, it means a lot to us that you havent deserted us!!

A: Oh dear, the American premiere is in Los Angeles on Wednesday 3 December and I know of no plans for the cast to attend the New York release day. Anyway, a regular audience is often more appreciative and exciting to be among than the stuffed shirts who populate grand openings.


Q: I am a 13 years old boy, from the S-E Europe, more exactly from Romania. I apologize for my English. "The Return of the King," in my opinion, is the best movie ever made; I just looked at the trailer and realized that. I can hardly wait to see the entire movie. I know that the premiere is on 17 December 2003, but in my country it¹s possible for the movie to appear later. I also heard that you'll play in "Harry Potter 3"; can tell me your opinion about what motion picture impressed you most? (HP3 or ROTK?) I know that you are a busy person, and I would very much unlike to disturb you, but I must ask you one big favor: can you send a reply to me? Thank you very much.

A: You have the advantage of me — I have not yet seen the trailer but judging from the pieces of the finished film that I saw last week, I agree with you that The Return of the King will be spectacularly remarkable. The battles featuring the Mûmakil, Nazguls and the Witch-king himself plus the trolls and the army of the dead are thrilling. How it might compare with the next episode of Harry Potter, who can tell? That won't be released until six months after the final Tolkien movie. I don't know the exact dates of the release but keep checking on this or the official site.

As for my reply to you — here it is!

[Webmaster's note: Ian McKellen is not in the cast of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.]


Q: Hello, my name is Laura, I'm Italian and I'm 10 years old. I have no questions, just wanted to say that I liked so much your Gandalf and Magneto and that you are bravissimo! I would like you could be my uncle and we could play theatre together. Un abbraccio (translated by Laura's mother who is also a great admirer of Sir Ian)

A: It has been one of the great joys of being associated with Gandalf and Magneto to be in touch with his young admirers as when I attended the Giffoni Children's Film Festival this year in your country. Ciao bambina! x

Ian McKellen with kids at the Giffoni Festival, 2003



From: Stacie sammie323@aol.com

Q: I heard that you didn't do commentary on the Two Towers Extended Edition DVD. I hope that's not true. I really enjoyed your comments on the first cast commentary.

A: I was working on other projects when the Two Towers DVD commentary was being assembled. 


Q: I heard a rumor that they are turning Lord of the Rings into a play in London. How do you feel about that? Plus, I wonder if there is any interest for you in portraying Gandalf on stage?

A: A stage musical is planned. As I don't sing well, I don't expect to be contacted by its producer.

From: Daniel danicg14@hotmail.com

Q: I have read that Peter Jackson and Sean Astin cried when they saw the end of The return of the king. What do you think about that? Is it emotive??

A: Is Gandalf a wizard? to coin a phrase.




Additional E-Posts about LOTR may be found in

The Lord of the Rings

DVD Release date 26 August 2003