25 May 2006

Ian McKellen E-Posts

3 April 2000

Future Stage

Q: Is there any time in the near future you will be performing on the stage again? And if so, when?

A: I am imagining that once filming of my role in The Lord of the Rings is over by the end of the year, I shall want to return to the theatre but exactly where and when I am not yet sure.

Star Trek

Q: Now that you have worked with Patrick Stewart, would you ever consider playing a villain in a Star Trek movie?

A: Why not, if the script were good and if I didn't feel I might get typecast as a visiting villain. 

The Odyssey

Q: I've never written to an actor before, but having just spent the last several weeks listening to your unabridged audiobook reading of the Fagles translation of The Odyssey, I thought I should at least tell you that your reading of The Odyssey was absolutely thrilling. At times, such as when Odysseus was reunited with Telemachus, Penelope and his father, there were tears in my eyes. As a whole, its hard to think of any writing which has bettered it in the last 2700 years. No wonder it has lasted. It must have been a wonderful reading to do.

A: Many thanks. Recording The Odyssey in an airless studio over one week was toiling: but I enjoyed the challenge of characterising to the minimum. A bad tendency in radio acting is to exaggerate vocally. I wanted Fagle to dominate. One translator is enough without the speaker's interpretation joining in too forcibly. Of course The Odyssey, not initially a written text, may have been augmented by numerous storytellers, whose repetitions and rhetoric are moving in a way that not even Shakespeare always achieved in Henry VI and Richard III.


From John JFink90125@aol.com

Q: I've just seen "Gods and Monsters" for the third time and it only reinforces my belief that Sir Ian should marry me.

A: But John dear we are not allowed to get married.

Dr Laura

Q: I live in Dallas, Texas and confess that I have never heard of you, even though your website claims you are internationally renowned as the leading British actor of this generation. I look forward to the release of The Lord of The Rings to test that assertion. I visited your website and found it interesting but think you should remove your "Stop Dr. Laura" link. Far from being a harbinger of hate as you assert, she is an island of moral responsibility in a sea of immorality. Whatever her quirks and faults, taken as a whole she is worlds above the swill that makes up most of the world. 

A: I am about as familiar with Dr Laura as you seem to be with my work. I  would not wish to censor those who disagree with me and disapprove of me. Prejudice is best out in the open. The point is that Paramount (her prospective employer) will not broadcast material which is intolerant of others on grounds of race or faith. They ought to have the same rule with regard to sexuality.

Film v Stage

Q: As an aspiring actor, I was wondering which do you prefer, Film or Theatre?

A: The grass is greener and sometimes filming I long for the theatre and vice versa. I am glad that I don't have to choose just one of them.

Acting Careers

Q: I am currently a student of Theatre at California State University. Unfortunately, there is not much opportunity in Los Angeles to do Theatre for art's sake (and still pay the bills). I'm really itching to do more Shakespeare. What is your suggestion for a young actor trying to make a living in the American Theatre?

A: Perhaps you would do better asking an American actor, although I expect the advice would be the same. Find a city with a fulltime theatre company and apply for a job there. 

Q: I am an actor in training. i would love some info or any suggestions on how to better myself, as well as further my career. 

A: As I don't know you, all I can suggest is that you see as much acting as 
possible on screen and stage and (perhaps with like-minded friends) work out what makes the good acting good. It is useful also to learn from the bad acting!


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