NZ Woman's Weekly

Ian McKellen’s bond with “special dwarf”

Could romance have blossomed in the Shire? A London press conference with Sir Ian McKellen and other cast members of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was loaded with innuendo as the openly gay actor talked about playing the wizard Gandalf alongside the diminutive dwarves. When asked whether any of the actors who played the dwarves had followed Viggo Mortensen’s example of sleeping alongside their horses to get into character, Ian quipped they “were too busy sleeping with each other!”

James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur the dwarf, replied, ”In your dreams McKellen!”, to which the veteran actor said, “You did say to follow my dreams! I adore all of the dwarves, they know that. There is one special dwarf and he knows who he is, but enough of that.”

Despite his affection for the actors who play the dwarves, the 73-year-old says he found filming with them difficult. “The trouble with the dwarves is they have to look smaller than me on the screen,” Ian said.

“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,” he added. “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.”

About Marilynn McLachlan

Online editor for the New Zealand Woman's Weekly

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