The Hobbit 2 filming nearly pushed Sir Ian Mckellen to quit acting

Posted on 3 December 2013
By James McAllister
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Sir Ian McKellen has admitted that he often considered quitting his job as an actor when working on The Hobbit trilogy.

The X-Men star revealed that the camera trickery required to make him taller than his hobbits and dwarves co-stars shunned him into a lonely existence of green screen acting.

He said: “I got absolutely miserable and had a little cry to myself. I didn’t realise that the microphone I was wearing was open so everybody could hear me muttering to myself about how I wanted to go home and so on.”

The introduction of 3D meant director Peter Jackson could not simply position Sir Ian closer to the camera to create the same illusion we see in Lord of the Rings.

The Hobbit director said: “With 3D it tells you exactly how far away they are and it tells you the whole thing is a cheat.”

To counter this Gandalf’s scenes had to be shot separately in order to create the illusion that Gandalf is bigger.

He went onto say: “We have a camera that looks at the dwarves and Bilbo in a set that’s built to their scale and a camera that looks at Gandalf on a green screen which is 25% closer, which makes him that much bigger.”

In an email the veteran actor expressed his concerns about the role stating “I don’t want to make this film if this is what I’m going to have to do.”

In an effort to ease tensions, The Hobbit director redecorated Mckellen’s tent with props featured in the Lord of the rings trilogy.

The stage actor admitted: “I was made to feel, as so often happens when you’re working with Peter Jackson and his colleagues, that you belong and you’re to feel at ease and at home and happy.
However, once the flowers faded I noted they weren’t replaced and I think I was meant then to get on with the job.”

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due in cinemas December 13.