This appeared in today’s Dominion. Much of the article rehashed quotes from McKellen’s own notes at his ‘Grey Books’ website, but here are some things he told the people over at the Dom.:

‘This is the craziest film ever made. It’s the most ambitious film ever made anywhere in the world, technically. On any one day there are four camera crews with Jackson, dashing around the sets. He’s absolutely calm. If you want to know what a hobbit is like, meet Peter Jackson.’

NZers should also be proud because the bulk of the people working on the film are ‘born and bred here….If the film works, it will be because it is a NZ film and not because it was shot here.’

Asked if he feels an affinity with Gandalf, he says: ‘Well, I like travelling, he likes travelling, he likes walking and getting about. He likes people and he certainly likes hobbits. I think he also likes the settled life, the cosy life…so I’m for that. He’s ordinary and, at times, rather frail. He loses his temper and he smokes, which he probably shouldn’t. I go for that side of the man.’

Thanks for Tiggy for that update!