Ian McKellen Wraps Final Scene as Gandalf for 'Hobbit' Films

Monday, 01 Jul 2013 02:53 PM

By David Ogul

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Ian McKellen is saying goodbye to Middle Earth. The veteran star on Friday filmed his final role as Gandalf in the series of "Hobbit" films.

On his Facebook page, director Peter Jackson called McKellen’s final scene on the "Hobbit" trilogy "the end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I’m feeling very sad right now."

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McKellen has been studying acting since he was a young child and focused early on Shakespeare. He would later go on to perform in a wide variety of genres, including the Academy Award-winning film “Plenty” with Meryl Streep in 1985, “And the Band Played On” in 1993, “Gods and Monsters” in 1998 and several “X-Men” features.

But he became perhaps best known of late for his role as Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy that began shooting 14 years ago and the three-part "Hobbit" prequel that wrapped up last week.

It was a challenging role. In an interview with ContactMusic.com, McKellen described the frustration of filming green-screen scenes with no other actors.

“In order to shoot the dwarves and a large Gandalf, we couldn’t be in the same set. All I had for company was 13 photographs of the dwarves on top of stands with little lights – whoever’s talking flashes up. Pretending you’re with 13 other people when you’re on your own, it stretches your technical ability to the absolute limits. I cried, actually. I cried. Then I said out loud, ‘This is not why I became an actor’. Unfortunately the microphone was on and the whole studio heard.”

He also kept a detailed blog of his experiences while filming the series.

“I’m 71 and fit: though at my age who knows what accident is ‘round the next corner?” he wrote in a 2011 post. “For a year or more, I have been arranging my professional commitments around the possibility of The Hobbit starting at almost any time.”

The first film in the "Hobbit" trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide since opening in December, Variety reported.

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