From: Kansas City Star:

Sir Ian McKellen told a gathering in Beverly Hills Monday that some of his Oscar-nominated acting as Gandalf in “The Fellowship of the ring” was pure imagination.

Take that scene where Gandalf confronts Balrog on the bridge and yells “You shall not pass!” McKellen said he was actually shouting at a green tennis ball that was standing in for a special effect to be added later. To get into mood, he thought of the worst monster he could imagine. Hitler.

Later, according to the L.A-based column Spywitness, when Gandalf tumbles into the abyss after defeating the demon, the wizard looks directly at Frodo, who’s trying to come to his friend’s aid. His blazing blue eyes are filled with love, sorrow and longing as he shouts, “Fly you fools!”

“In the movie, Gandalf is looking at Frodo, but I was looking at (a former lover he broke up with back in 1972),” McKellen said. “Is that method acting? I don’t know. But I know it looks good on the screen.”

McKellen will appear on “Saturday Night Live” this week.