Your character has a very interesting relationship with Gandalf in the films, it’s almost antagonistic at times. What was it like getting to explore that with a veteran like Ian McKellen?
“Ian McKellen is just such a delightful man, that whenever I had to be antagonistic or aggressive to him there was always a pang of guilt inside of me that was like, “oh, don’t be too rough on Gandalf!” That’s part of the thrill of acting, that you have to push those bonds with other characters.
He did something on the first day, which I’ve never forgotten. You know, it’s all about status. It’s something every actor learns at drama school, but no one ever applies, because it means being selfless. Ian is a very selfless actor. When I walked in the door at Bag End, Gandalf, this monumental figure for me, bowed his head to me in reverence to Thorin Oakenshield, the legendary warrior. And I remember thinking, “God, he’s giving me my status!” And from that point on I figured if Gandalf was giving it to me, then everyone else has to give it to me, and you don’t therefore have to play any false weight of status because it’s given to you. He completely understood that. He looks after everyone he’s in a scene with, he absolutely looks after them. It’s such a privilege to say I’ve worked with him.”
Richard Armitage on working with Ian McKellen
Hugo Weaving and Sir Ian McKellen on the set of The Hobbit
I was lying awake on the grass, waiting in line for The Hobbit, when Ian McKellen strolled by and came over to greet all the fans who were spending the night.
I caught him just in time and asked if he could sign my copy of The Lord of the Rings, but then he surprised me by handing back this priceless drawing of Gandalf smoking a pipe.
And then I completely lost my shit.
Sir Ian is on Hall H !!!
How completely freaking awesome are they?!