25 May 2006

Ian McKellen E-Posts

25 May 2006


From: Anton

Q: Happy (upcoming) birthday, Sir Ian! May you blow out ALL the candles on your cake (no, that's not a euphemism... though it could be!) so your wish can come true! Thank you very much for all your efforts, both as an entertainer and an activist.

A: Many thanks. I've never thought actors deserved birthdays — we get far too much attention and far too many cards and presents on first nights and at premieres as a matter of course.

From: Tom Chapman

Q: Happy Birthday Ian...love from all the lads at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

A: My love to the lads.

Q: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope your day is special.

A: I'm having dinner with friends after introducing a private screening of X-Men: The Last Stand for the effects magicians who flew the bridge and lifted the house and painted Valhalla at the climax of the film.

From: George Page

Q: First may I say, Happy Birthday! I've been following your career since I saw and recorded your performance of "Acting Shakespeare" on the Arts & Entertainment Network back in the 80's. Is that recording available for purchase anywhere? I watched it again last night and I would love to have a clean copy (no IBM commercials) I loved your performance of Sir Leigh Teabing. Thank you for all your work and for being such an outspoken and great example for atheists everywhere.

A: I'm not sure I want to be an advocate for or against religion, it's just that when people are rude I tend to snap back. Acting Shakespeare often threatens a screen comeback, although I wasn't best pleased with my upward inflections of 20 years ago. I'm very glad it still holds up for you.

From: Lydia

Q: HAPPY BIRTHDAY IAN!! (please imagine some flowers here) My sons (18, gay, Shakespeare-Fan - 16, straight, X-Men-Fan) and I (a sometimes desperate mother and McKellen-Fan) we wish you many, many happy returns of the day and that all your dreams and wishes for the future may come true. I got so much help and hope from your homepage when I had to cope with my son´s homosexuality at first, especially LETTER TO MAMA made me nearly weep. My younger son, who was rather ashamed of his brother in the beginning, is now defending him against some of his own excessively straight friends and trying to discuss the situation with them. We will celebrate your birthday tomorrow watching THE LAST STAND in the original version and hope so much, that KING LEAR will conquer at least some parts of Germany next year. Have a great party and many delightful presents from your friends. Forever yours - Lydia, Tobi and Sebastian.

A: I am so pleased you mailed. I saw Armistead Maupin, who wrote Michael Mouse's Letter in Tales of the City, reading and addressing an audience in Manchester's QueerUpNorth festival recently. Someone in the audience told a story akin to yours. Wonderful. I hope you enjoy The Last Stand.

From: Rob Koch

Q: I saw on Netflix.com that your birthday is tomorrow (I was looking to add Richard III — told it was a must see!) Just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday!

A: It would be a present to me if you watch and enjoy Richard III.

Q: Happy birthday! Thank you for both your wonderful screen work (I have not been privileged enough to see you on stage) and for your work for the gay community. Your skill, courage and commitment are most admirable. I wish that we had someone like you to champion gay issues here in South Africa. We have a most enlightened constitution which protects rights regardless of "sexual orientation" but much still needs to filter down and change so that it makes a real and practical difference to members of our community. Life is particularly hard for black lesbians and homosexuals but that is a highly complex and emotive problem.

A: I was a small part of the successful campaign to make illegal discrimination on grounds of sexuality in the new constitution. I raised funds with my solo show A Knight Out in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Heavens, I even met the President at the ANC headquarters with two local activists. Yes, it's hard, and progress will be slow unless the government gives a stronger lead in the spirit of the Constitution.

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