Ian McKellan Explains Why Passed on Playing Dumbledore in HARRY POTTER
Ian McKellan is one of those iconic actors who can do practically anything. So, it's no surprise that after Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, died, the studio began talking to McKellan to replace him.
While talking to McKellan on BBC's HARDtalk show, host Stephen Sackur, brought up a quote from Richard Harris, who was a critic of Ian Mckellan's saying Ian was, "Technically Brilliant but Passionless."
The good Sir Ian McKellan responded that while the statement was said by Harris, it was nonsense. He then related a story that after Harris passed how the studio talked to Ian about playing a role in Harry Potter.
"When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films, they didn't say in what part. I worked out what they were thinking, and I couldn't... I couldn't take over the part from an actor who I'd known didn't approve of me."
To think, Sir Ian McKellan could have added yet another wizard to his already great wizard roster. Gandalf the Grey, Gandalf the White, Magneto (who is like a mutant wizard). While I respect McKellan's choice to not play such a huge role because of the previous actor's thoughts on him, I can't help but wonder how great he could have been.
To be fair, Michael Gambdon, who ended up taking the role, did a wonderful job. It's just one of those interesting other choices, like the Sean Connery Gandalf, the Will Smith Matrix, or the Patrick Stewart Cogsworth, that we will always have to wonder about and that people in a separate universe may be enjoying.
Sackur then clarified that McKellan could have played Dumbldore, to which McKellan responded:
"Well, sometimes, when I see the posters of Mike Gambon, the actor who gloriously plays Dumbledore, I think sometimes it is me."
Truly a classy man.