Ian McKellen Had a Breakdown Because of The Hobbit (For The Same Reason We All Had It)

Ian McKellen Had a Breakdown Because of The Hobbit (For The Same Reason We All Had It)
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The filming of The Hobbit was not at all what the actor had expected it to be.

Ian McKellen is best known for his role as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. The trilogy not only became a cult classic, but also provided its creators and cast with several years of great friendship and fun on set.

So it comes as no surprise that when Peter Jackson invited Ian McKellen to return to the iconic role, he accepted without hesitation. Little did McKellen know that instead of seeing his friends on the set, he would only see their photographs.

Unlike The Lord of the Rings, which was filmed in New Zealand, The Hobbit was shot mostly in a studio with green screens. Short dwarfs and a tall wizard could not be in the frame at the same time, because in real life the difference in height between actors is not so significant.

McKellen said that all he had for company were 13 photographs of dwarves on stands with little lights flashing on those who spoke.

The actor admitted that the whole thing made him cry:

“I cried, actually. I cried. Then I said out loud, ‘This is not why I became an actor.’”

Peter Jackson gave up some of his unique techniques in The Hobbit and lost some of the magic that was in The Lord of the Rings.

For example, The Lord of the Rings is considered a masterpiece of forced perspective, a technique in which two actors of the same height are filmed at different distances so that one appears shorter than the other.

The idea is as old as cinema itself – but Peter Jackson and his team were the first to realize it with a moving camera. And so came the famous scenes of Frodo and Gandalf at the table in Bag End, their wagon ride across the Shire, and others.

The filmmakers were praised for this technique, it was even shown in an exhibition dedicated to the movie. But forced perspective is a 2D trick that is impossible with 3D movie cameras. In The Hobbit, such scenes had to be abandoned because Jackson wanted to shoot the movie in 3D.

And for the same reason, Sir Ian McKellen was forced to shoot most of his scenes alone, which only elicits sympathy and sadness.

Source: Express