Ian McKellen E-Posts


Q: Considering that your co-star Patrick Stewart has voiced Xavier for various videogames and you have done voice work for the LOTR videogames (correct me if I'm wrong), would you consider further work in other medias such as videogames or animations as Magneto?

A: You are correct - I have provided the video game Gandalf with a voice and should be happy to do something similar for a Magneto counterpart were I to be invited . . .


From: David B

Q: I've read that you had thought that X2 'would not be very good' and wondered why that was. Someone on an internet forum said this: "After a while, he (that's you) did go and see the film, and was surprised that it was so well done and so good. I seem to recall it was...for lack of a better word, a bit of snobbery against the particular genre, but in the end, he was pleasantly surprised that films of this genre could be socially relevant." Were you unaware of the allegorical significance of X-Men as the fight of minorities and misfits for acceptance, and thus packed with social relevance relating to anyone who feels out of place in the world - from adolescents to gays to all ethnic, racial, cultural and sexual minority groups? Have you now expanded your knowledge, and has it made you a fan of X-Men comics or interested in seeing other superhero movies or reading other superhero comicbooks?

A: As soon as I read the first film's script I became a convert to the X-Men characters and their saga, in part for the reasons you clearly explain. If I did have any initial disaffection with the second film, it was because I was kept in Vancouver filming it for just 15 days which were spread over as many weeks. In such circumstances it is easy to underestimate the impact of the finished movie which, during its filming, can feel rather desultory. No, I haven't started devouring other comic stories nor their films.


Q: In my last email, I sent praises to X-Men and you as Magneto. Shame on me for not mentioning your other works! You make Shakespeare and the Classics COME ALIVE! I love the works in which you choose to participate. If you'd never done X-Men, I might have never seen the classics! A sincere thanks.

A: I'm very pleased that the blockbusters helped introduce you to the classics.


Q: I just finished reading an interview you did with a member of Superherohype.com regarding X-men 3: "To call it a 'franchise' as if we're in the business of just making money, I think it's an insult to everybody involved, including the audience." I'd like to thank-you for this insightful comment.

A: Stories that come from comic books and other sources of today's legends and lore are of no less value than any other story out there. I also find it to be a distasteful when they refer to movies like X-Men as a franchise, the dreaded "F-word". I won't repeat my point except to say that I once heard an actor playing James Bond refer to his films as a franchise. So it isn't only comic books that come in for the insult.


From: Stevey

Q: I was just wondering how you would approach the fact that Magneto abandoned his children (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) in the comics, given that he is such a patriot of mutant kind, yet when it came to his own kids, he left them in the cold...

A: Thanks, Stephen I would relish a chance to meet Magneto's children onscreen. Magneto wouldn't be the first warrior/politician/philosopher to be a poor parent.


From: David B

Q: The X-Men is a brilliant allegory for the social struggle of minorities - and I read in an interview with Bryan Singer that this is why you were attracted to the movie, and how Singer sometimes directed your action and dialogue to help you empathise with the story. But it doesn't give a very good view of the disabled or the less 'normal-looking' people in society. Wheelchair-bound Charles Xavier was written out of the main action sequences in both movies - Mystique swanned into the mansion and tampered with Cerebro in X1, while Xavier was gassed in Magneto's cell and then easily mentally overpowered by Mutant 143 in X2. And most of the attractive mutants are 'goodies' who look at least normal, at most glamorous, while most of the more unconventional, unusual-looking (dare I say 'freakish') mutants are 'baddies' whose appearance has a very animal aspect to it. (Toad, Mystique, Sabretooth).

A: You may well have a point with regard top Professor X although there is an obviously telling irony that such a mentally powerful man should have legs that don't work. As for the appearance of the villains, might you agree that Magneto does his best to look as normal and glamorous as the best of the mutants?


Q: In x3 does Pyro have something on his wrists to make the fire for him to munipulate? I paused the trailer onces and I couldn't tell.

A: Yes I do believe he does. It's a lighter.


From: Nick

Q: What is the silver pin that Magneto frequently wears on the collar of his very handsome outfit?

A: It's just a little bit of decoration, though as it is metalicised like the rings on his boots, maybe there is more to it than I realised.


From: Hope

Q: Is johnny depp really going to play gambit? if not, then he should. i can picture no better an actor for the part.

A: I should love to work with Johnny Depp but I haven't heard of any plans to recruit him.


Q: I recall that during your previous sojourn in Vancouver you commented on the lovely summer weather and lack of rain. I hope that the current Autumn onslaught is not getting you down.

A: As I write, X-Men: The Last Stand is concluding its principal photography on location Vancouver by filming at night. In November, British Columbia can be relied on for rain but somehow this year is managing to stay dry at nights so Magneto's outfit doesn't get rain-spattered. For such a particular dresser, that would never do.


Q: In X-Men 2 Magneto escapes his plexiglass prison by taking the iron from the guards blood. It intrigued me that he knew when to do this. He knew to use his powers on the guard and create his weapon for escape, so did Mystique find some way of contacting him that was hinted at and I just missed?

A: I think Magneto was just constantly alert to any possibilities of escape and knew that Mystique, without him asking, would be working on his behalf.

X-MEN (2000)

X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003)



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