An Extended 75-minute film
Internationally acclaimed film star and one of Britain's
foremost classical stage actors, IAN MCKELLEN, allows The South Bank Show
unprecedented and exclusive access to record a year in his life at work,
on the road and at home.
|In June 1984 The South Bank Show began
documenting a year in McKellen's life whilst he was at the pinnacle of
his stage career at the
National Theatre. Twenty years later,
that life has changed beyond all recognition - the two most
significant changes being his rise to international celebrity and his
public 'coming out' as a gay man. In June 2003, The South Bank Show
began following McKellen around the world once more to record another
- very different - year in his life.
Signing autographs at the Los Angeles premiere of The Return of the
On the beach, Wellington NZ
Visiting the Hobart Shakespeareans
Los Angeles, February 2004
|This film begins with Ian backstage on
the last night of
Dance of Death in the West
End. The journey that follows takes us inside his home in London's
Docklands; on the set of re-shoots for
Lord of the Rings in New
Zealand; on a promotional world tour with fellow cast members Liv
Tyler and Orlando Bloom; behind the scenes at the BAFTA's and the
Oscars; on location in Leeds and Dublin making his new film
Asylum opposite Natasha
Richardson; and on an emotional journey to visit his elderly
stepmother at her home near Morecambe Bay.
Greeting photographers at the Wellington premiere, December 2003
The film that emerges is dynamic, revelatory and honest. McKellen
candidly discusses the demands of international celebrity, his thoughts on
getting older, his homosexuality and political
activism, acting for both the
screen, and the reasons why he
decided to make not one, but two South Bank Shows.
Says Ian McKellen: "One of the reasons I became a professional actor
was because I'd heard that you could meet queers in the British theatre.
And it's quite true that you can. Thank Goodness. And I entered then a
world that was not normal. I entered then a world in which people could be
at ease with their sexuality".
Produced, Directed and Photographed by Matt Cain; Edited and Presented
by Melvyn Bragg
Photos by Keith Stern
First Aired on ITV1 in UK
Tuesday 29 June 2004 at 11pm