Home Celebrity Gossip Ian McKellen Reveals Why He Didn’t Play Dumbledore

Ian McKellen Reveals Why He Didn’t Play Dumbledore


Ian McKellen[1] has played one of the most famous wizards of all — Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films — but he might have been "Harry Potter's" Dumbledore as well.

Speaking to BBC's HARDtalk[2], the actor said he was offered a role in the Harry Potter franchise after the death of Richard Harris[3], who played the original Dumbledore.

HARDtalk host Stephen Sackur brought up a quote by Harris in which he referred to McKellen and a few other actors as "technically brilliant but passionless."

McKellen called the slam "nonsense," but admitted it's the reason he turned down the role: "When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films, they didn't say in what part. I worked out what they were thinking, and I couldn't … I couldn't take over the part from an actor who I'd known didn't approve of me."

The part went to Michael Gambon[4], who played the Headmaster of Hogwarts in the next six Harry Potter films.

McKellen laughed, "Sometimes, when I see the posters of Mike Gambon, the actor who gloriously plays Dumbledore, I think sometimes it is me."

But he has no hard feelings about not adding another mega-franchise to his resume: "I'm the real wizard," he joked of playing Gandalf.

McKellen currently appears in "Beauty and the Beast[5]" as Cogsworth.

[Via EW]


  1. ^ Ian McKellen (www.moviefone.com)
  2. ^ BBC's HARDtalk (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ Richard Harris (www.moviefone.com)
  4. ^ Michael Gambon (www.moviefone.com)
  5. ^ Beauty and the Beast (www.moviefone.com)

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