Mistaken For Gandalf

Posted : admin On 8/22/2021
Mistaken for gandalf quotes

In the early months of 2011, more than a decade after he first began work in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sir Ian McKellen returned to Wellington to play the wizard Gandalf the Grey once again.
He'd had his reservations about reprising his role: legal entanglements and union actions had delayed the production for years, and McKellen, at 71, was far from certain that he wanted to be tied up in filming halfway around the world from his home in London.
And this time, in the first of director Sir Peter Jackson's two projected prequels based on Tolkien's The Hobbit, the part would be more technically demanding.
Gandalf would spend most of his time surrounded by diminutive characters – hobbits and dwarfs half his height – but as they were played by actors of ordinary proportions, the film-maker would have to employ an arsenal of special effects to make their world seem convincing. Some were surprisingly simple: in long shots, Gandalf could stand close to the camera and a hobbit farther away, using forced perspective to make one seem larger than the other. But in close-ups things became more difficult.
So, to film an inaugural dinner party in Bilbo Baggins' underground home, McKellen found himself sitting alone in a scaled-down set representing Bilbo's 'hobbit hole', as 13 actors playing hobbits sat in a full-sized version of the same set on the other side of the studio. They would all play the same scene simultaneously to a pair of cameras, and the shots could be overlaid in post-production.
But McKellen could neither see nor hear the other actors, instead having their dialogue read to him through an earpiece, and faced a phalanx of photographs on stands that lit up when each character spoke, to help guide his reactions to their lines. To further complicate matters, the pictures he had to respond to were not of the characters in make-up, covered with layers of prosthetics, but of the actors beneath, none of whom he had ever met before.
'This is my first day of shooting,' he tells me. 'I don't know who they are. I can't hear what's being said. I don't know who's speaking to me. I don't know what they're looking at. I'm acting in a vacuum.'
By the end of the day – alone with his earpiece, his miniaturised cutlery and his faces on sticks, watched by only a robot camera – McKellen grew tearful with frustration.
'This,' he muttered to himself, 'isn't why I became an actor.'
That night, he offered to quit.
In spite of his various honours – a CBE in 1979, the knighthood in 1992 – McKellen remains famously informal. When I arrive at the sprawling penthouse apartment where he's staying in Manhattan, while appearing in Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter's No Man's Land with his friend and fellow X-Men star Patrick Stewart, his assistant is surprised. 'Oh, s***,' he observes. 'He's asleep.' It's noon on a Monday, and McKellen's day off. The previous night, he hosted a party here for 100 guests that didn't finish until 5am; the interview has been forgotten.
An hour later, a freshly showered McKellen is still waking up. The living room of the apartment has been set with vases of fresh flowers; on the mantelpiece is the certificate registering McKellen as a minister in the Unification Church, something Stewart's new wife, Sunny, organised, so that he could officiate at their wedding in September.
McKellen has no confidence that his online ordination has any legitimacy. 'We may find out that Patrick and Sunny are not really married at all, and it will all be my fault,' he muses. 'Hmm.'
As he waits for his breakfast to appear, McKellen's distinctively theatrical delivery is even more stately than usual. He eats an apple, rubs at his face and digs in his ear with one arm of his spectacles.
'Monday is my Sunday. I'd just got it into my mind that I didn't have anything on today,' he says. 'Anyway. Well. We'll be talking about The Hobbit, will we?'
After his inauspicious start more than two years ago, McKellen not only continued his role as Gandalf – Jackson found other ways of making him seem larger than his fellow cast members – but saw it expanded. At the end of nine months' back-to-back filming for the planned pair of Hobbit movies, the director announced that, on the recommendation of chief backer Warner Bros, he would turn it into a trilogy.
The first instalment, An Unexpected Journey, released last December, has already outdone even the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time, with global box office takings of more than US$1 billion (NZ$1.2b).
This – along with his appearance in three X-Men films, playing the villain Magneto – has helped turn McKellen, regarded as possibly the greatest classical actor of his generation but wholly ignored by Hollywood until he was in his 50s, into one of the most bankable film stars in the world. And yet he says his life remains, in most important aspects, unchanged.
'We could go out now and nobody would turn a hair .. or they might,' he says. 'Depends on chance. But I go on the subways; I go on the tube. It's not that once I was in these films I suddenly became overwhelmed with offers to be in other films, or do the sort of work that I wasn't previously doing – not at all.
'Since I did Lord of the Rings, I've been on Broadway with Helen Mirren, I've played King Lear for no money for the Royal Shakespeare Company. I've also been in these films, which have brought me retrospective fame, of a sort. But nothing like, thank goodness, the fame that Tom Hanks has got, or Johnny Depp, or whatever. It's not an impediment.'
Indeed, McKellen says that the roles that have made him globally recognisable have also helped him keep the public at arm's length.
'Because Gandalf and Magneto are rather imposing characters, people don't take advantage of you. They're a little bit in awe, in a way that they wouldn't be if they saw a friendly face from Coronation Street. People on television have trouble with fame, because audiences think they're their mates.'
Yet McKellen apparently does an excellent job of being famous. He's maintained a voluminous personal website (which he says he writes for in place of producing an autobiography) since long before the invention of social media, and has a game and sometimes self-deprecating public persona – swigging advocaat on British television show Chatty Man or baking brownies with Martha Stewart – that seems particularly winning in a knight of his generation.
During a break in rehearsals for Godot in Melbourne a few years ago, he was mistaken for a tramp by a passerby, who gave him a dollar for his trouble. He doesn't even mind when he's mistaken for the wizard from the Harry Potter movies.
'The other day there were 100 people outside the theatre who wanted autographs,' he says. 'Just as I did the last one, a woman grasped my hand and said: 'It's so wonderful to meet Dumbledore in person.' I blew her a kiss and got into my car.'
(McKellen is acutely aware of the perils of mixing up actors who have appeared in similar roles. On being introduced to Jack Klugman, who played Oscar in the television version of The Odd Couple, McKellen took him for Walter Matthau, who portrayed the character in the movie, with more distinction.
'You're my favourite actor,' McKellen told Klugman, before realising his mistake. 'Whenever Jack came through London thereafter, he would send me a postcard, saying: 'Hi! Your favourite actor's in town!'.'
Over his half-century of professional acting, McKellen has kept at least one prop from almost every role he has played. He has Gandalf's sword, staff and hat, and many gilt coins from the hoard of the dragon, Smaug, the centre of the latest Hobbit film. 'There were quite a lot of them,' he says.
Since the end of his relationship with Nick Cuthell, a young New Zealander he met while working on The Lord of the Rings, McKellen has lived on his own. He enjoys it.
'I think if I didn't, I wouldn't. I've got quite a lot of friends who live alone. So we see a lot of each other. It's not that we're not sociable.'
For a while, McKellen talked about taking six months off from work every year to travel and spend time with his friends and family. But he's since abandoned that idea; his output now seems as great as ever and its variety borders on the absurd. Over the past 10 years, he has appeared as both King Lear and as Widow Twankey in Aladdin; in The Simpsons and in the sitcom Vicious; before beginning work on Godot he also played himself in Extras ('How do I act so well?' he asks Ricky Gervais. 'What I do is I pretend to be the person that I am portraying in the film or play.')
Is there anything he hasn't, yet, been asked to do?
'A musical? Ice skating?' he suggests. 'My own chat show?'
When he's finished his current run on Broadway, he'll return to London to play a 100-year-old Sherlock Holmes in the new movie A Slight Trick of the Mind. Now 74, he has dental implants, a hearing aid and has been treated for prostate cancer, but he uses everything he can in his work: 'I run around in Godot. I climb over a wall. Fortunately, I have to do it as a man who – oh! – whose shoulder hurts. And probably my shoulder does hurt, because if it didn't and it was my hip, I would go: 'Oh, the hip!' So you can use your complaints.'
He has no plans to retire. 'Old age is no place for sissies,' he announces, quoting Bette Davis. He pulls himself upright in the chair where he's been slumped for the past hour; silhouetted against the window, McKellen's grey hair is a bright corona, glowing white in the afternoon sun.
'What can I do to keep it at bay? You can keep active. Some people garden, some people go walking, some people act.'
And he'll keep doing that as long as he can.
'Acting is more important to me than ever. If I weren't doing it, then I really would be on the slippery slope .. the end of which is The End. So,' he says aridly, 'it's a matter of life and death, a bit.' Telegraph Group

  1. Gandalf was one of the five wizards sent to Middle Earth. These included Gandalf the Grey, Saruman the White, Radagast the Brown, and two mysterious blue wizards that are only ever vaguely alluded to in the tales. Each of the wizards were wise and uniquely powerful however, Gandalf was the wisest of the all. Saruman was the most powerful.
  2. Gandalf gets annoyed at contention among his friends and doesn’t put up with irresponsibility. Ti: Gandalf doesn’t like to be in charge of everything, but prefers to delegate most tasks to others. He doesn’t always trust his judgement, but will often leave things to others rather than trying to put his foot in everyone’s game.

Veteran actor Ian McKellen says he gets pestered by Harry Potter fans who confuse his Lord of the Rings (LOTR) character Gandalf for Professor. Gandalf was one of the five wizards sent to Middle Earth. These included Gandalf the Grey, Saruman the White, Radagast the Brown, and two mysterious blue wizards that are only ever vaguely alluded to in the tales. Each of the wizards were wise and uniquely powerful however, Gandalf was the wisest of the all. Saruman was the most powerful.


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens on December 12.

Up jumped Bilbo, and putting on his dressing-gown went into the dining-room. There he saw nobody, but all the signs of a large and hurried breakfast. There was a fearful mess in the room, and piles of unwashed crocks in the kitchen. Nearly every pot and pan he possessed seemed to have been used. The washing-up was so dismally real that Bilbo was forced to believe the party of the night before had not been part of his bad dreams, as he had rather hoped. Indeed he was really relieved after all to think that they had all gone without him, and without bothering to wake him up ('but with never a thank-you' he thought); and yet in a way he could not help feeling just a trifle disappointed. The feeling surprised him.

'Don't be a fool, Bilbo Baggins!' he said to himself, 'thinking of dragons and all that outlandish nonsense at your age!' So be put on an apron, lit fires, boiled water, and washed up. Then he had a nice little breakfast in the kitchen before turning out the dining-room. By that time the sun was shining; and the front door was open, letting in a warm spring breeze. Bilbo began to whistle loudly and to forget about the night before. In fact he was just sitting down to a nice little second breakfast in the dining-room by the open window, when in walked Gandalf. 'My dear fellow,' said he, 'whenever are you going to come? What about an early start?-and here you are having breakfast, or whatever you call it, at half past ten! They left you the message, because they could not wait.'

'What message?' said poor Mr. Baggins all in a fluster.

'Great Elephants!' said Gandalf, 'you are not at all yourself this morning-you have never dusted the mantel- piece!'

'What's that got to do with it? I have had enough to do with washing up for fourteen!'

'If you had dusted the mantelpiece you would have found this just under the clock,' said Gandalf, handing Bilbo a note (written, of course, on his own note-paper).

This is what he read:

Thorin and Company to Burglar Bilbo greeting!

For your hospitality our sincerest thanks, and for your offer of professional assistance our grateful acceptance. Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

Mistaken For Gandalf Quotes

Thinking it unnecessary to disturb your esteemed repose, we have proceeded in advance to make requisite preparations, and shall await your respected person at the Green Dragon Inn, Bywater, at II a.m. sharp. Trusting that you will be punctual.

We have the honour to remain

Yours deeply

Thorin & Co.

'That leaves you just ten minutes. You will have to run,' said Gandalf. 'But. . . ' said Bilbo.

'No time for it,' said the wizard.

'But. . . 'said Bilbo again.

'No time for that either! Off you go!'

Mistaken for gandalf quotes

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, walking-stick or say money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half- finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf's hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a whole mile or more. Very puffed he was, when he got to Bywater just on the stroke of eleven, and found he had come without a pocket-handkerchief!

'Bravo!' said Balin who was standing at the inn door looking out for him.

Mistaken For Gandalf

Just then all the others came round the corner of the road from the village. They were on ponies, and each pony was slung about with all kinds of baggages, packages, parcels, and paraphernalia. There was a very small pony, apparently for Bilbo.

'Up you two get, and off we go!' said Thorin.

'I'm awfully sorry,' said Bilbo, 'but I have come without my hat, and I have left my pocket-handkerchief behind, and I haven't got any money. I didn't get your note until after 10.45 to be precise.'

'Don't be precise,' said Dwalin, 'and don't worry! You will have to manage without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a good many other things, before you get to the journey's end. As for a hat, I have got a spare hood and cloak in my luggage.'

That's how they all came to start, jogging off from the inn one fine morning just before May, on laden ponies; and Bilbo was wearing a dark- green hood (a little weather-stained) and a dark-green cloak borrowed from Dwalin. They were too large for him, and he looked rather comic. What his father Bungo would have thought of him, I daren't think. His only comfort was he couldn't be mistaken for a dwarf, as he had no beard.

They had not been riding very long when up came Gandalf very splendid on a white horse. He had brought a lot of pocket-handkerchiefs, and Bilbo's pipe and tobacco. So after that the party went along very merrily, and they told stories or sang songs as they rode forward all day, except of course when they stopped for meals. These didn't come quite as often as Bilbo would have liked them, but still he began to feel that adventures were not so bad after all. At first they had passed through hobbit-lands, a wild respectable country inhabited by decent folk, with good roads, an inn or two, and now and then a dwarf or a farmer ambling by on business. Then they came to lands where people spoke strangely, and sang songs Bilbo had never heard before. Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there were no people left, no inns, and the roads grew steadily worse. Not far ahead were dreary hills, rising higher and higher, dark with trees. On some of them were old castles with an evil look, as if they had been built by wicked people. Everything seemed gloomy, for the weather that day had taken a nasty turn. Mostly it had been as good as May can be, even in merry tales, but now it was cold and wet. In the Lone-lands they had to camp when they could, but at least it had been dry. 'To think it will soon be June,' grumbled Bilbo as he splashed along behind the others in a very muddy track. It was after tea-time; it was pouring with rain, and had been all day; his hood was dripping into his eyes, his cloak was full of water; the pony was tired and stumbled on stones; the others were too grumpy to talk. 'And I'm sure the rain has got into the dry clothes and into the food-bags,' thought Bilbo. 'Bother burgling and everything to do with it! I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!' It was not the last time that he wished that!

Mistaken for gandalf quotes

Mistaken For Gandalf Meme

Still the dwarves jogged on, never turning round or taking any notice of the hobbit. Somewhere behind the grey clouds the sun must have gone down, for it began to get dark. Wind got up, and the willows along the river-bank bent and sighed. I don't know what river it was, a rushing red one, swollen with the rains of the last few days, that came down from the hills and mountains in front of them. Soon it was nearly dark. The winds broke up the grey clouds, and a waning moon appeared above the hills between the flying rags. Then they stopped, and Thorin muttered something about supper, 'and where shall we get a dry patch to sleep on?' Not until then did they notice that Gandalf was missing. So far he had come all the way with them, never saying if he was in the adventure or merely keeping them company for a while. He had eaten most, talked most, and laughed most. But now he simply was not there at all!

'Just when a wizard would have been most useful, too,' groaned Dori and Nori (who shared the hobbit's views about regular meals, plenty and often). They decided in the end that they would have to camp where they were. So far they had not camped before on this journey, and though they knew that they soon would have to camp regularly, when they were among the Misty Mountains and far from the lands of respectable people, it seemed a bad wet evening to begin, on. They moved to a clump of trees, and though it was drier under them, the wind shook the rain off the leaves, and the drip, drip, was most annoying. Also the mischief seemed to have got into the fire. Dwarves can make a fire almost anywhere out of almost anything, wind or no wind; but they could not do it that night, not even Oin and Gloin, who were specially good at it.

Then one of the ponies took fright at nothing and bolted. He got into the river before they could catch him; and before they could get him out again, Fili and Kili were nearly drowned, and all the baggage that he carried was washed away off him. Of course it was mostly food, and there was mighty little left for supper, and less for breakfast. There they all sat glum and wet and muttering, while Oin and Gloin went on trying to light the fire, and quarrelling about it. Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine, when Balin, who was always their look-out man, said: 'There's a light over there!' There was a hill some way off with trees on it, pretty thick in parts. Out of the dark mass of the trees they could now see a light shining, a reddish comfortable-looking light, as it might be a fire or torches twinkling. When they had looked at it for some while, they fell to arguing. Some said 'no' and some said 'yes.' Some said they could but go and see, and anything was better than little supper, less breakfast, and wet clothes all the night. Others said: 'These parts are none too well known, and are too near the mountains. Travellers seldom come this way now. The old maps are no use: things have changed for the worse and the road is unguarded. They have seldom even heard of the king round here, and the less inquisitive you are as you go along, the less trouble you are likely to find.' Some said: 'After all there are fourteen of us.' Others said: 'Where has Gandalf got to?' This remark was repeated by everybody. Then the rain began to pour down worse than ever, and Oin and Gloin began to fight. That settled it. 'After all we have got a burglar with us,' they said; and so they made off, leading their ponies (with all due and proper caution) in the direction of the light. They came to the hill and were soon in the wood. Up the hill they went; but there was no proper path to be seen, such as might lead to a house or a farm; and do what they could they made a deal of rustling and crackling and creaking (and a good deal of grumbling and drafting), as they went through the trees in the pitch dark.

Mistaken For Gandalf Book

Suddenly the red light shone out very bright through the tree-trunks not far ahead. 'Now it is the burglar's turn,' they said, meaning Bilbo. 'You must go on and find out all about that light, and what it is for, and if all is perfectly safe and canny,' said Thorin to the hobbit. 'Now scuttle off, and come back quick, if all is well. If not, come back if you can! It you can't, hoot twice like a barn-owl and once like a screech-owl, and we will do what we can.'

Off Bilbo had to go, before he could explain that he could not hoot even once like any kind of owl any more than fly like a bat. But at any rate hobbits can move quietly in woods, absolutely quietly. They take a pride in it, and Bilbo had sniffed more than once at what he called 'all this dwarvish racket,' as they went along, though I don't sup-pose you or I would notice anything at all on a windy night, not if the whole cavalcade had passed two feet off. As for Bilbo walking primly towards the red light, I don't suppose even a weasel would have stirred a whisker at it. So, naturally, he got right up to the fire-for fire it was without disturbing anyone. And this is what he saw. Three very large persons sitting round a very large fire of beech-logs. They were toasting mutton on long spits of wood, and licking the gravy off their fingers. There was a fine toothsome smell. Also there was a barrel of good drink at hand, and they were drinking out of jugs. But they were trolls. Obviously trolls. Even Bilbo, in spite of his sheltered life, could see that: from the great heavy faces of them, and their size, and the shape of their legs, not to mention their language, which was not drawing-room fashion at all, at all.

'Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey, if it don't look like mutton again tomorrer,' said one of the trolls.

'Never a blinking bit of manflesh have we had for long enough,' said a second. 'What the 'ell William was a-thinkin' of to bring us into these parts at all, beats me - and the drink runnin' short, what's more,' he said jogging the elbow of William, who was taking a pull at his jug.

Mistaken For Gandalf Pictures

William choked. 'Shut yer mouth!' he said as soon as he could. 'Yer can't expect folk to stop here for ever just to be et by you and Bert. You've et a village and a half between yer, since we come down from the mountains. How much more d'yer want? And time's been up our way, when yer'd have said 'thank yer Bill' for a nice bit o' fat valley mutton like what this is.' He took a big bite off a sheep's leg he was toasting, and wiped his lips on his sleeve.

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