I remember having a conversation with a friend about Albus Dumbledore (in the Harry Potter film series) and Ian McKellen. It completely made sense why producers decided to cast Richard Harris as Dumbledore in the first and second Harry Potter films: he was amazing. But why…after Richard Harris passed away in 2002 after filming Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets…did the movie series’ producers decide to go with Michael Gambon (who still did a nice job) instead of Ian McKellen? Sure…McKellen was knee-deep in Lord of the Rings movie territory, but he would have been a perfect Dumbledore!
We finally know why.
In a recent interview, Ian McKellen revealed that Richard Harris didn’t care for him as an actor (“technically brilliant, but passionless”): and because of that criticism, didn’t sign on to replace Harris as Albus Dumbledore. He simply couldn’t take over the role of an actor that he knew didn’t approve of him. The good news: McKellen really liked Michael Gambon as Dumbledore in the last six Harry Potter films…and even called his performance “glorious.”
After Richard Harris passed away, Ian McKellen still (jokingly) had the last word: even though he turned down the role of Dumbledore, he still starred as, “the superior wizard” in Gandalf!
If you’re in the London area, Ian McKellen will be reprising his role as Gandalf in a one-man show for charity at London’s Park Theatre from July 3rd-9th.
Source: IGN News
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