The Hobbit actor, Sir Ian McKellen, is spending his weekends raising money to restore the earthquake damaged Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch, by travelling around New Zealand performing his one-man show. He is having a “lovely time” and says, “It’s not hard work for me, at all. I really enjoy it…
“People seem to have liked the format, which is basically the audience lets me know what they want me to talk about and what they want me to perform.
“Any questions you’ve ever wanted to ask about Gandalf or Magneto or King Lear, now’s your chance, but we get on to other topics as well, it’s entirely up to the audience, really.
“Theatre’s always exciting because you never know what’s going to happen … actors always say it depends on the audience whether the show goes well, but particularly in this case. I mean, there’s nobody else on stage but me, although I do give the audience a chance to come up and do a bit of acting with me if they fancy it, so I am living on my wits. But that gets the adrenaline running and I enjoy it.”
Speaking to the Otago Daily Times about The Hobbit McKellen said,
“Filming in Wellington is quite unlike filming in London or Hollywood, in that everybody working on the film seems to know each other. It feels like a home movie, the most expensive home movie ever made.
“And Peter Jackson is such a welcoming, friendly man that you sort of join in with the group and the company and feel very much at home. That’s the experience of all the foreign actors who come here, without exception.”
McKellen also praised New Zealand’s scenery and gave a mention to Bret McKenzie and the Flight of the Conchords show which he plans to go to in June.
McKellen is reprising his role as Gandalf for The Hobbit, whilst McKenzie plays the elf Lindir.
Photo taken by Keith Stern at Universal Studios, Hollywood, 9 April 2000.
Kindly released into the public domain in response to a request for material for Wikipedia.