Belfast Telegraph

Ian McKellen: Wisdom washes over me

Sir Ian McKellen never had any career ambitions to play Sherlock Holmes.

The iconic English actor has become part of cinema history with roles like Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, and is now tackling literature legend Sherlock Holmes.

When asked who his mentors have been throughout his life, Ian was hard pressed to think of a name.

"Well there was uncle Cliff, who wasn't strictly an uncle, who when I went up to University offered me I think it was £5 to never smoke a cigarette. Not a big enough bribe as it turned out," Ian chuckled to Cover Media.

"I wish I could just remember those startling moments when someone perhaps, I didn't know, blessed me with a word of advice."

However he did then name his school teacher Frank Green, who taught him the number-one duty of an actor is to be audible.

Ian is following in the recent footsteps of stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch by becoming Sherlock. The difference is that in Mr Holmes, Ian plays the famous sleuth at the end of his life.

While many of the 76-year-old's career ambitions have been fulfilled, including starring in UK soap opera Coronation Street and playing King Lear, becoming Sherlock never came into the equation.

"No. I never had an ambition to play Sherlock Holmes. If I ever thought about it, I thought I'm too old. Then this part of a 93-year-old Sherlock comes along," he revealed.

"Like everyone else, I do think he was a real person. I've been around Baker Street, I've gone to look at the statue there."

© Cover Media


From Belfast Telegraph