Ian McKellen E-Posts


From: Andries

Q: Will there be other X-men pictures in the future because it seems a shame that the saga should end with so many significant deaths and loss of powers?

A: Lauren Shuler Donner (producer of the X-Men movies) whose husband Richard bought the film rights to the comics initially, recently announced that a Young Magneto movie is in the works. Pity she hasn't told me anything about it — as yet.


From: Brad Biglow

Q: Just finished seeing X-3. Jolly good job ol' (er...young) fella! I noticed that in many scenes, and one can see them in the production pictures on your website, that you are usually draping your cloak over your arm in most scenes. Even with your extensive theatre experience, did you find it quite heavy and cumbersome?

A: In the comics, Magneto is a snappy dresser and I wanted to express that, even though his film outfits eschew the superhero lycra look. I learnt to handle a voluminous cloak ages back in school stage productions of Shakespeare.


From: Matthew

Q: I am a recent convert to the X-Men film trilogy. I think Magneto and Patrick Stewart's Professor Xavier are perfect foils to one another, and one of the best things about the films is watching the two of you interact. What is the most satisfying experience for you personally, playing in X-Men?

A: Even after three films, I can't believe my luck in being involved in re-telling the comic stories in the company of the brilliant actors who come together from their varying careers to imagine the fantastical world of mutancy on screen. That the public respond so well in such numbers is very rewarding, particularly for an actor who has looked out at many a thin matinee audience and wondered "what on earth . . . ?"


Q: I saw "X-Men: The Last Stand" tonight and enjoyed it very much. However, after I'd gone home and visited a website where the film was being discussed, I learned that the last scene in the film was inserted after the final credits. Like many in the theater, I opted to leave when the film appeared to be over and I'd read the main credits. I'd be most grateful if you'd convey this message to the film's director, or to whoever is responsible for this stupid arrangement.

A: Not having seen the concluding epilogue at Cannes where I and the rest of the audience assumed, like you, that all was over when it appeared to be, I share a little your irritation. Perhaps it was a device to lure audiences back for a second look. Perhaps it was a bit of a joke. Perhaps it meant nothing at all. All complaints to Brett Ratner.


From: Heather

Q: As a young person and big fan of Magneto that lives in the city of Vancouver would you or could you go into what you liked about the city if at all while filming the X-men movies?

A: Over the years, since I arrived there for X-MEN2, I've blogged enthusiastically about Vancouver in the Magneto's Lair diaries. I've now made four films there very comfortably because of the large population of film-making professionals onhand. British Columbia is more than nominally congenial for English actors — Victoria on Vancouver Island feels like a southcoast town in England. But I've loved visiting the wilder landscapes of sea, sky and mountains that are so reachable and then back to the friendly folk working and playing in Vancouver itself. The best Pilates teacher I know practices there in Chinatown — the dancer Noam Gagnon.


From: Bert

Q: Patrick Stewart said in an interview that the two of you worked together on the opening scene from X-men 3 to help enhance the digital de-aging effect. He said he was disappointed that you were not at the premiere because he wanted to exchange notes on how it turned out. What are your thoughts on that scene, and what sort of things did you change about how you behave to create the younger Magneto?

A: When I caught up with Patrick at the Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere, we spent a couple of days talking to journalists, sometimes in tandem, and there was plenty of time to catch up. We were both very tickled by the young look of our first scene. It had been so easy to achieve, but of course Patrick is right: the computer can't work effectively alone. The actors' bodies and attitudes had to be youthful if the unlined faces were going to be convincingly youthful.

p.s. I have just seen Patrick's brilliant Antony in the Royal Shakepseare Company's current Antony & Cleopatra. If you want to see him with hair, that's another reason to see his performance at Stratford-upon-Avon or Michigan or at London's Novello Theatre.


From: Daniel Edmonds

Q: In your interview with ComingSoon.net's Superhero Hype!, you replied to a question that the gay community had responded "less than I would have hoped for actually." I'd just like to say that as a gay teen from Australia, the X-Men movies have moved the majority of gays that I do talk to about it. Just today I was sitting with a group of friends. We had bought some X-Men comics, and were talking about the wait until X3 was released.

A: It's good to be proved wrong. Thanks.


From: Khendra

Q: I've just come home from seeing X-Men 3. I liked it and it made me think of a lot of things. Curing mutants has a scary part because my Mom still seems to think there should be some cure for me being lesbian, and though I wouldn't act like Rogue I can understand her.

A: I don't agree that sexuality, whether hetero, homo, or bi, can be cured, because none of them is a disease. One might as well say that humanity itself can be cured.


Q: What do you think are the differences and similarities in Magneto and Gandalf?

A: Gandalf has a beard/Magneto has a helmet. Both can do magic. Gandalf is ancient/Magneto is in his prime. Both speak English.

X-MEN (2000)

X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003)



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