McKellen as Lear and Sylvester McCoy as his Fool In the U.S., most people know Ian McKellen as the villainous Magneto in the X-Men movies — and of course as the wizard Gandalf, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But long before he became an international superstar, McKellen was known as the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation. He’s played Romeo, Macbeth, Iago, and Richard III (on stage and on film) and now he’s touring the United States with one of the greatest Shakespeare roles of all time: King Lear.

McKellen Takes On Another Dark Mountain: ‘Lear’