Potterheads, take a deep breath. Ian McKellen shades the beloved ‘Harry Potter’ wizard in an all-new interview and reveals the shocking reason why he turned down the role of Dumbledore!
“When [Harris] died — he played Dumbledore, the wizard [while] I played the real wizard [Gandalf], of course — they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films,” Ian McKellen, 77, said in an interview on BBC’s HARDtalk. “They didn’t say what part. But I worked out what they were thinking.”
Wait, what?! Now Ian’s just being cheeky but still! Dumbledore and Gandalf, the fictional character Ian played in The Lord of the Rings movies, are both incredible wizards.
During the radio segment, he said that Harry Potter producers reached out to him about playing Dumbledore after the original actor, Richard Harris, died in 2002 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Richard played the legendary wizard in the first two Harry Potter films: The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. There’s a very specific reason why Ian turned down the role, and it’s because of past bad blood with Richard. “I couldn’t take over the part from an actor who I’d known didn’t approve of me,” he said.
Michael Gambon, 76, ultimately replaced Richard and played Albus Dumbledore for the remaining Harry Potter movies. Both Dumbledore and Gandalf rock long beards and robes, and Ian is full aware of how much they look alike. Seriously, they could be brothers.
“Sometimes when I look at the posters of Michael Gambon, the actor that gloriously plays Dumbledore, I sometimes think it’s me,” he said. “You know, we get asked for each other’s autographs!”
HollywoodLifers, who is the better wizard — Dumbledore or Gandalf? Are you shocked Ian turned down the role of Dumbledore? Let us know!