Friday, May 26, 2006


I want to dedicate this post to an incredible master of the stage and screen: the unique and charismatic Sir Ian McKellen.

Fitting really to discuss this man, since
X-Men: The Last Stand opens in theaters across the country today, and he reprises his role as the magnificent Magneto. It's my favorite character in the whole film series really. Were it not for Magneto's awesome powers and McKellen's commanding performance, I don't think I'd care much for these films.

I first noticed this
great actor (like most Americans) back in the late nineties, with the release of the superb Gods And Monsters. The film is acted beautifully, with McKellen doing an amazing job as Frankenstein director James Whale. The acting roles in films for McKellen increased tremendously after this, and he became a household name with the X-Men films and his role as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He can also be currently seen in The Da Vinci Code too, where many say he nearly steals the picture. Another great, but lesser known McKellen film is the disturbing Apt Pupil, where he plays a former Nazi living in a small town. Ironic really, since Magneto is a Jewish character who survived the Holocaust. Coincidentally, Apt Pupil was directed by Bryan Singer in 1998, director of the future first two X-men films.

The episode Ian hosted of Saturday Night Live a few years ago is among the funniest and best written I have ever seen. If ya can get yourself a copy or find it somehow, please do yourself a favor and view it. He is a natural for skit comedy--with years of experience in the theater of course.

And if ya didn't know it by now, Sir Ian is openly gay. That's right kids. And he is not ashamed, nor does he hide the fact, which is way cool and refreshing in the very closeted world of Hollywood. Perhaps his cause is aided by the fact that he is an elder statesman, and is not expected to be in any love scenes at this point, but I still find it admirable that he is so genuine and honest about himself, while still commanding lots of respect. I believe Sir Ian himself once said that playing one of the X-Men was inspired by the fact that the story has many similarities with being gay and closeted. Interesting indeed!

A veteran of the stage, and now enjoying tremendous success on film,
Sir Ian McKellen is one of-- if not the greatest thespian alive.



G-Man said...

i remember seeing his SNL skits...He was funny indeed.

He will be forever part of film history as Gandalf. "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!"

Can't wait to see X-Men 3. Magneto and Prof X are perfectly cast! I've been a fan of that comic book series since I was a young boy, and the movies have been really well done!

Mikey said...

Brian Singer director of the first two X Men and Apt Pupil really knows how to use Sir Ian's talents.

Todd said...

Ian is a tremendous actor! When I first saw Fellowship of the Ring, I had no idea he was Gandalf. He was only Gandalf. He's popping up in all sorts of movies now, which is cool. Thanks for the post WAT.

Todd said...

Mikey and I must have posted at the same time! I agree with Mikey. Singer (also gay) is a great actor director. I think he has problems in some other areas. I still think THE USUAL SUSPECTS is his best movie.

Anonymous said...

I have also loved Ian's work for many years, but he so impressed me in the movie "And the Band Played On" regarding the discovery of AIDS. He was lovely, touching and so real. I'll never forget his portrayal of the dying activist. True genius.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Sir Ian is a grea man indeed. If any of you have a chance, visit his website. It is great, he is very active and responsive to all of his fans.

Funny about X-men though and super-heroes in general, Ian as Magneto represents a power individual who has been persecuated in the past. It has coming to a boiling point, where his kind are not accepted or tolerated in the world. Art imitating life imitating art?

sttropezbutler said...

I'll drink to that.


Mario said...

I loved him in Gods and Monsters, and pretty much everything else I've seen him in. I love his work as an actor, and he seems to be a great person too.

Marko said...

I agree, hes an amazing actor and he does it with such wit and charisma. Did you see X3? I went to it last night and OMG...AMAZING!