The Hobbit's Ian McKellen On Dwarves And Dancing Boys
The legendary actor reveals some of the highs, and lows, of playing Gandalf...
Star of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Sir Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf The Grey, has jokingly claimed that there may have been some hot dwarf action going on behind the scenes during filming.
Asked at a press conference if any of the actors playing the dwarves had tried sleeping with their horses to get more into character - as Viggo Mortensen reportedly did when shooting The Lord Of The Rings trilogy - McKellen replied that they "were too busy sleeping with each other!"
Actor James Nesbitt, who plays the dwarf Bofur, then retorted "In your dreams McKellen!" to which Sir Ian pointed out that the film's lead, Martin Freeman, had just given the advice to wannabe actors to "just follow your dreams".
McKellan then continued, "I adore all of the dwarves, they know that. There is a special dwarf and he knows who he is…"
Despite his love for the dwarves (and the actors who played them), the legendary thespian revealed he initially found the process of acting with them difficult at first, saying:
"The trouble with the dwarves is they have to look smaller than me on the screen and there are no real devices to accomplish that. Something which is really congenial to acting is about looking another actor in the eye and working with him, and sometimes, cruelly, you are actually not in the same space while you're filming the same scene.
"The first day I rather shamed myself by grumbling to myself that this sort of filming wasn't why I had become an actor. I forgot that I was wearing a microphone and everyone heard.
"But I was rewarded the next day with love because my little tent where we get made up inside the studio had been decorated. There were remnants of [Elvish city] Rivendale, there was fresh fruit and flowers, and carpets and cushion and dancing boys and girls. I began to feel it was going to be alright!"
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in cinemas nationwide tomorrow (13 December).