Sir Ian McKellen knows how to play to type — and that type is magical. It was 2001 when the world met Ian as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There have since been six adaptations by Jackson of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and Ian appeared in all of them: the three Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit, which was split into a trilogy.
Entertainment Weekly shared a photo of Sir Ian’s last day of filming on June 28th. In the photo a visibly sad and exhausted Ian, still in wardrobe, hugs director Peter Jackson. Peter posted the photo to his Facebook wall with the caption, “Seconds ago we finished our last shot with Gandalf. The end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I’m feeling very sad right now.”
Just six months ago Sir Ian shocked his fans by announcing he had prostate cancer. The star gave a very candid interview with UK’s Mirror about his health and rather bluntly explained, “They come and say you have cancer of the prostate and then they say you can have it zapped, you can have it snipped but you are not a candidate for that. You are waitful watching.” He has been in “watching” mode for seven years.
Ian may have retired Gandalf, but he is certainly not retiring from acting. The 74 year old actor is currently filming a new X-Men film (Days of Future Past) and will soon begin work on The Curse of The Buxom Strumpet, a small film about an 18th century zombie outbreak in a British seaside town.
Image Credit: The Hobbit Blog, the official behind the scenes blog run by the production team