Gan­dlf The Grey

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

AC­TOR Ian McKellen is only too happy to re­sume the char­ac­ter Gan­dalf in The The

Hob­bit Hob­bit films af­ter bring­ing the wiz­ard to life ini­tially in The Lord Of The Rings The Lord Of The Rings ( LOTR) LOTR) films.

Ac­cord­ing to the 74-year-old thes­pian, he knows this char­ac­ter is well-loved as he is of­ten ap­proached by fans of all ages wher­ever he goes. He finds both the sto­ries writ­ten by J.R.R. Tolkien equally won­der­ful and the lo­ca­tion shoot in New Zealand has been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

In The Des­o­la­tion Of Smaug, The Des­o­la­tion Of Smaug, the wiz­ard leaves Bilbo Bag­gins and the Dwarves to go on an ur­gent busi­ness that could very well jeop­ar­dise the peace in Mid­dle-earth.

While it is not re­vealed in the chil­dren’s book what the threat is, Peter Jack­son had to look at the ap­pen­dices of LOTR LOTR – as this is where Tolkien reveals what hap­pens to Gan­dalf – to in­cor­po­rate it into this film.

In a tran­script pro­vided by Warner Bros. Pic­tures, McKellen gives an in­sight into this.

Can you talk about Gan­dalf’s own jour­ney

and where it takes him?

I don’t want to give too much away, but there is some­thing go­ing on in Mid­dle-earth. It has changed. Ref­er­ence is made to that in the first film, and in the se­cond, you meet the spe­cific dan­gers that Gan­dalf was ner­vous about. He gets into one hell of a scrape. I don’t think I can put it in more spe­cific terms than that.

At that mo­ment, does he have any mixed feel­ings about leav­ing Bilbo and the Dwarves to con­tinue on without him?

Yes, those are the sort of dilem­mas that he gets in. He can’t be in two places at once, much as he’d like to be. He does, some­times, sim­ply have to leave peo­ple to get on with the task that they’ve been given to do. But that’s the na­ture of be­ing their com­man­der.

You lay down the law, you make your sug­ges­tions, you give your or­ders, you give your warn­ings, and you say, ‘Good luck and I’ll be back if nec­es­sary.’ Then the char­ac­ters are left to dis­cover their in­ner strengths.

I sup­pose that’s part of how these sto­ries are told. If they have Gan­dalf with them the whole time, solv­ing all their prob­lems as they turn up, it would be less of an ad­ven­ture than it is.

What does Gan­dalf think about Thorin and his role in lead­ing the troop?

Thorin is a stub­born young man, and aware of his lin­eage, and he’s prob­a­bly got too much pride for Gan­dalf’s tastes. Gan­dalf would pre­fer that Thorin do things his way, but that’s not up to him.

What was it like to be reunited with Or­lando Bloom and his char­ac­ter, Le­go­las?

I see Or­lando all the time, but I didn’t ac­tu­ally get to work with him much on the film.

It’s ironic be­cause we’re al­most shar­ing an apart­ment here in New York where he’s on Broad­way do­ing Romeo And Juliet and I’m on Broad­way with Beck­ett and Pin­ter, and he’s just sort of along the cor­ri­dor from me. So I have been see­ing a lot of him and that’s been lovely.

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