McKellen: Harris Hated Me Thanks To Gandalf
Acting legend SIR IAN McKELLEN was the focus of a furious outburst from the late RICHARD HARRIS a few years ago, when he won the part of GANDALF in LORD OF THE RINGS.
According to the British thespian, Harris was infuriated that director PETER JACKSON opted to cast the GODS AND MONSTERS star over him in the epic fantasy trilogy.
And his rage was provoked even further when rumours that McKellen would replace him as DUMBLEDORE in the HARRY POTTER franchise started to emerge thanks to his declining health in 2002.
McKellen explains, "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter?
"And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since.
"So whether they were already sensing that Richard was ill, which I couldn't have anticipated at that point, or whether it was for another part, which is what I assumed, I don't know. But no, I was never up for Dumbledore.
"He said I was a 'passionless actor', and so were DEREK JACOBI and KENNETH BRANAGH. I was very happy to be in such esteemed company!
"But as I say, Richard Harris was mainly a disappointed man because I had played Gandalf and he had to settle for Dumblewit. Or Dumblebore, I should say."08/01/2004 17:17