Thursday, November 14, 2002
Ian McKellen At SFU Report! - Xoanon @ 13:56 PST
Jennifer writes:

Just thought I'd pass on some comments about Sir Ian McKellan's appearance at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby British Columbia on November 13:

The SFU Film Society hosted a screening of Sir Ian McKellan's "Richard III" on campus on November 13. Sir Ian himself presided over the screening, giving a brief introduction to the play and hosting a question and answer period afterwards. The play itself was magnificent! One of the best screen adaptations of Shakespeare that I've seen! Sir Ian, in the title role, was superb.

The question & answer period, which went on about three-quarters of an hour longer than Sir Ian had originally promised, was lively and entertaining. Though most of the questions were in respect of "Richard III" a few folks couldn't resist asking their LOTR questions as well. I was particularly amused when a gentleman in the back asked if Sir Ian were ever annoyed that, having played such significant roles as Macbeth and Richard III, he is so often recognized as Magneto or Gandalf. Sir Ian's response? A laugh! He said he would never take a role he didn't see as significant and wouldn't star in a picture that he wouldn't want to be in the audience to watch. What a wise man!

Sir Ian impressed me as being incredibly personable, intelligent and well-read. Since the screening actually took place in a lecture hall, it was sometimes hard to remember that Sir Ian was not, in fact, a professor of English Literature! Peter Jackson could not have chosen a wiser man to bring Gandalf to life. (Even if Sir Ian hadn't read LOTR until after he'd been offered the role! Rest assured, he says he's since read the book and has fallen under its spell.)

The most incredible thing about the evening was how intimate it seemed. Though he was addressing hundreds of students and fans, it felt as though every question was answered directly to each person in the audience. I left with an even deeper respect for Sir Ian as an actor and as a human being... And he showed us his "nine" tattoo. What more could you ask for?