From: Resevoir Dog

The news about the flood doesn’t sound very good, there was an article here on the news last night about the flood with plenty of pictures and a report saying many things won’t be fixed and may be powerless until after xmas.

I was reading an edition of Filmink an australian indie film mag and they had an interview with Sir Ian McKellen I thought you might be interested in. It is a little wrong in that it says he is currently filming LOTR but other than that it is interesting.

Price of fame: sir Ian Mckellen

Currently in the land of the long white cloud shooting Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated Rings trilogy, Sir Ian McKellen ignored the price of fame and logged on to his own website to answer Chris Parry’s questions.

The name Sir Ian Mckellen sounds very regal. You get the mentle picture of a forthright, prim and proper gentleman who could blow you off your feet with one line from ‘The Merchant of Venice’, while not spilling a drop from his cup of earl grey. The reality is he’s a complex guy. Outspoken, almost militantly gay, protective of his art but not above appearing in a comic book adaptation if the chance arises, one of the first big names to start his own website, very liberal with ciggies and a bloody nice guy.

The winner of over 30 international awards, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his role in ‘Gods and Monsters’, it all started for him in school. An ardent watcher of Gielgud, Oliver, Leigh and Ashcroft, McKellen was handling Shakespeare at age 13, throwing himself into the world of thespianage with vigour and much success. His first cinematic role was in the unfinished, unreleased 1966 Gregory Peck film, ‘The Bells of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling’. In 1968 he took on his first gay role in ‘A Touch of Love’, at a time when such roles could lead to blacklisting, or even worse, ‘Carry On’ films.

Between 1969 and 1982 McKellen avoided film, but made a fleeting return with Fred Schepisi’s ‘Plenty’, followed by ‘Scandal, Last Action Hero and Six degrees of Seperation’ (again with Schepisi). But it was his adaptation and starring turn in ‘Richard III’ and the multiple award wining ‘Gods and Monsters’ that earned him the world acclaim his skills deserved. With the Bill Condon directed James Whale biopic about to be released on video, we dragged Sir Ian off ‘The Lord of the Rings’ set to have a wee chat.

F: Did you write a speech for the Oscars…just in case?

IM: Of course – no one wants to look foolish in front of that many viewers. I’ll hold onto it for next time…

F: Which fellow thespians do you admire?

IM: All those who try to improve with each part of the play – too many to list.

F: If you could fix one thing about Hollywood, what would it be?

IM: The Stupidity.

F: Aliens land and demand to know five films which they could get a total film education, which five? (geez, who writes theses things? -Xoanon)

IM: Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot; Strangers on a Train; The Duel; Fantasia; The Great Dictator;

F: What was the last book you read?

IM: The Lord of the Rings.

F: More important: Critical acclaim, self satisfaction or personal wealth?

IM: Definitley self-satisfaction.

F: Who chooses your roles? You or your agent?

IM: I do, you obviously don’t know my agent.

F: Do you read reviews of your films?

IM: Most, although there’s less point reading film reviews than theatre reviews, because it’s too late to take advice once the work is done. I never bother reading reviews of other people’s work.

F: Clowns: funny or scary?

IM: Most clowns I’ve seen are neither.

F: Describe your introduction to the world of theatre

IM: I went to see Peter Pan at age 3. I wasn’t over-impressed. For one thing it wasn’t a real crocodile and I could see the wires.

F: If we ever get to buy you a drink, what are you having?

IM: Fresh squeezed orange juice please.

Geez, of all those stupid questions, you’d think the reporter would ask, ‘are you in the cold wasteland known as Toronto filming a comic book film? or are in warm sunny New Zealand?’ but no, the juice question was VERY interesting (mumble mumble, about not getting to do interviews which I know would be a MILLION times better….)

Thanks to RD for the scoop!