Gandalf the Thief
Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces rather than artistic imperative doesn’t know the guy and hasn’t examined the body of his work.” He joked, “If we just had made one movie of The Hobbit, the fact is that all the fans, and I’m thinking of the eight, nine, ten-year-old boys and girls, they would watch it 1,000 times. Well, they’ve now got three films they can watch 1,000 times.Sir Ian Mckellen (about The Hobbit being made into 3 movies)
Dammit Sir Ian why are you so fabulous?
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