HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA — MONDAY, JULY 19, 2004 — Celebrated actor and activist Ian McKellen has provided a brand new interview for the upcoming feature documentary, RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS. Sir Ian showed his remarkable depth of understanding of all things related to J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Lord of the Rings.” His powerful portrayal of the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s epic film trilogy earned him his second Oscar nomination (Best Supporting Actor, 2002) and made him a cinematic icon to adoring fans worldwide. Sir Ian’s interview for Ringers reveals both his remarkable erudition and gentle humor which readers of Tolkien have always associated with their beloved Gandalf.

For fifty years Ian McKellen has enjoyed a far-reaching theatrical career in England and abroad, where his most enduring Shakespearean roles were crafted in collaboration with legendary director Trevor Nunn for the Royal Shakespeare Company. A true master of theatrical disciplines, Sir Ian was lauded by critics worldwide for his role as Edgar in Strindberg’s Dance of Death, which went from Broadway, to London’s West End, and on to Sydney, Australia. Sir Ian has earned more than forty major international acting awards including a Tony Award for Amadeus, the Screen Actors Guild Award for The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of The Ring, a Cable ACE Award for And the Band Played On… and a Golden Globe Award for Rasputin. He received his first Academy Award nomination playing James Whale in Gods and Monsters; with a continuing wave of popular success with Apt Pupil, X-Men and X2: X-Men United. His newest feature, David Mackenzie’s Asylum, will debut October 29, 2004, in select U.S. cinemas.

About the documentary:

Very funny yet often moving, Ringers: Lord of the Fans shows the hidden power behind Tolkien’s books — and how after 50 years a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions, across cultures and across time. Ringers explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond “cult classic” and over several different generations, the film unearths academics, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies — the people gathered under the banner of ‘Ringer.’

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS spent 16 months shooting on three continents. Produced in association with the popular Tolkien fan-site TheOneRing.net, Ringers stands as the most comprehensive film document of the ongoing fandom of “The Lord of the Rings.”

“Ringers” Official Website:


Current “Ringers” Interviewees include:

Actor – Sir Ian McKellen, Actor – Dominic Monaghan, Actor – Andy Serkis, Actor – Sala Baker, Author/Filmmaker – Clive Barker, Writer/Director/Producer – Cameron Crowe, Actor – David Carradine, Author – Terry Pratchett, Author – Peter S. Beagle, Author – Terry Brooks, Musician – Lemmy Kilmister, Musician – Geddy Lee, Tolkien Scholar – Dr. Jane Chance, Chairperson of the Tolkien Society – Christine Crawshaw, Author – Colin Duriez, Filmmaker/Critic – Chris Gore, Writer/Publisher – Forrest J. Ackerman, Actor – Bill Mumy, Author/Broadcaster – Brian Sibley, Illustrator/Author – Colleen Doran, Illustrator/Author – Jill Thompson, Great-Grandson – Royd Tolkien, and hundreds of Tolkien fans!