Ian McKellen: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

5 Awesome Performances...

5. Gandalf - The Lord Of The Rings (2001-2003)

When you have a character who is supposed to be old, wise, and give a certain gravitas to dialogue that's mostly complete nonsense written in a somewhat imaginary old-timey language, you could do worse than Christopher Lee. But then again he has that air of menace about him, owing to all those years playing Dracula in Hammer Horror films, so he can't play any such fantastical figure who's on the side of the light. Which is why he was perfectly suited to the part of Saruman, and why Sir Ian McKellen was such a natural fit to Gandalf, the wizened old magician who turns up in the shire to recruit one Frodo Baggins on a matter of grave urgency because he has a thing for short people or something. Why does he keep going after hobbits, anyway? Whatever, Ian McKellen sells it. He sells every scene he's in throughout the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which is no meant feat given the amount of guff Tolkien used to spout. He's also a dab hand during the action scenes, with the opening of The Two Towers €“ recounting his battle with the Balrog is a stand-out €“ showing he exists in multitudes.

Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/