Sir Ian McKellan recently spoke with the Yorkshire Post:
‘For him, retirement holds no appeal.
He says: “I think I’ve never got over the fact that I’m allowed to act at all.
“If the phone rings and there’s a job offer, it’s a wonderful act of faith that someone’s had in you. People only retire because they’re bored with their job and can’t wait to give it up. The only thing I dread about the job and the future is not having the energy to do it.”
In an age where people with little or no training can climb on a stage with the goal of “becoming famous” courtesy of shows like The X-Factor, Sir Ian remains a vocal advocate of stage craft.
“If I’d made the equivalent of Lord of the Rings when I was 24 then I don’t know what I would have done. Robert Pattinson, the young man who’s in Twilight, he’s a huge star, but now it must be a worry for him about what he’s going to do next,” says Sir Ian.
“You can’t keep at that level. For me, at 24, the question of what was next was very easy – I was going to do my next theatre role and I was going to get better.
“I didn’t have to look for the next big success and nor do I still, because I have still got the theatre. It puzzles people in the film industry, they say, ‘What’s he doing Coronation Street for?’ It’s obvious isn’t it?
“I would go and work in the regions when other people were hanging around waiting for a film part. I went off and played parts probably for less money than I should have had, but I suppose it’s paid off.”‘