“Having slain the Great Goblin, I was being a bit too indulgent with the dwarves who meanwhile had mislaid Bilbo in the goblin tunnels,” says McKellen. “I’ve played enough soldiers to see that PJ was right, and in the next take I was very stern. “
In his most recent blog, Sir Ian McKellen reminisces about being a young actor who was keen to learn about fencing and stage fighting. He lists some of his many fight scenes, including the Hamlet/Laertes duel in Hamlet, and the Coriolanus/Aufidius fight in Coriolanus. And while all of these experiences were remarkable on their own, they continue to help McKellen even today, as he plays the role of Gandalf in The Hobbit.