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."
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.
- ^ Ian McKellen (www.moviefone.com)
- ^ BBC's HARDtalk (www.bbc.co.uk)
- ^ Richard Harris (www.moviefone.com)
- ^ Michael Gambon (www.moviefone.com)
- ^ Beauty and the Beast (www.moviefone.com)