We all know certain roles that almost went to other actors: Hugh Jackman as James Bond, Al Pacino as Han Solo, and even Matthew McConaughey was in line to be Jack from Titanic, but he would have never been able to rock those suspenders anyway. It’s always hard to imagine anyone else playing your favorite characters, and apparently, actors are pretty bummed about the process too!
Sir Ian McKellan opened up about his experience being cast as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, though he was not the first choice to play the wizard. “I don’t think you’re ever the first choice,” McKellan said in an interview with Variety. “I certainly wasn’t the first choice for Gandalf. Tony Hopkins turned it down. Sean Connery certainly did. They’re all coming out of the woodwork now, and I hope they feel silly.” It seems a little off-putting to wish silliness on the dead but we can ignore that for now.
Even though he might not be the first choice, McKellan is definitely a sought-after choice and has been in over 50 films, including Cats. We can’t let him forget about that one.
The man says he has no plans to retire as long as people keep asking him to do stuff, which seems like a pretty solid way to live life. “I’ve never been out of work, but I’m aware that any minute now something could happen to me which could prevent me from ever working again. But while the knees hold up and the memory remains intact, why shouldn’t I carry on? I really feel I’m quite good at this acting thing now.” Surely the Academy thinks he is good, and yeah, he is knighted and everything, but he has never done an episode of Hot Ones, so how can we really be sure?