Don't miss a captivating afternoon with the maverick star of Lord of the Rings, X-Men and Gods and Monsters!
Cinequest invites you to join us for a very special event, A Conversation with Sir Ian McKellen. One of today's most inexhaustible actors, he has won more than forty major international awards, continually awing audiences with a natural wit, charm, and grace. Sir Ian McKellen is globally renowned as the leading British actor of his generation. His performances on stage and screen are legendary. His versatility and preeminence in modern work as well as the classics have earned him a multitude of significant acting awards in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.
Ian Murray McKellen was born at on May 25, 1939, in Burnley, a northern English mill town. At the age of three, his parents took him on a family outing to "Peter Pan" at Manchester Opera House, encouraging an early fascination with theatre. His sister introduced him to Shakespeare, opening his eyes to amateur productions of "Twelfth Night", "Macbeth" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". His first performance in a Shakespeare play was as a 13-year-old Malvolio in "Twelfth Night". When he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cambridge in 1961, he had decided to become an actor ("I wasn't fit for anything else!") and without going to drama school made his first performance in the Belgrade Theatre for a production of "A Man for All Seasons". With a burgeoning list of acclaimed performances, the young McKellen quickly became a revered name on stage and screen. His diverse film credits include: Priest of Love, Scandal, Plenty, The Keep, Gods and Monsters, Swept from the Sea, Bent, Richard III, Restoration, Cold Comfort Farm, Six Degrees of Separation, as well as Bryan Singer's Apt Pupil and X-Men.
Most recently, his performance as the wizard Gandalf in the film Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring continues to garner praise from critics and filmgoers worldwide, including nominations for the Academy Award (his second), the Screen Actors Guild award, London Film Critics' Circle, Toronto Film Critics, Brazil Film Critics, Online Film Critics Society, Cinemarati and the Golden Satellite. His portrayal of James Whale in the film Gods and Monsters received many honors, including the Oscar, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globe nominations. In 1999, he was named Best Actor by the National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Florida Film Critics, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Online Film Critics Society, the British Independent Film Awards and many others.
"McKellen is particularly splendid. In him, the aura of a great wizard and a great stage actor combine effortlessly. He inhabits Gandalf without camp or bravado, but with a sly sense of enjoyment that makes it a characterization for adults as well as children. One gets the sense that McKellen understands the profundity of the role, and yet some part of him is also thinking, 'Can you believe I get to wear this hat?' It's thoroughly winning." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle on McKellen's performance in Lord of the Rings.