Ian McKellen

  • Aired:  12/02/13
  •  | Views: 11,329

"The Hobbit" star Ian McKellen describes growing up in England during World War II and his mother's early support for his acting career. (7:05)

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUESTS TONIGHT IS, YOU CANSEE THIS ACTOR ON BROADWAY,

AWAITING IN NO-MAN'S-LAND, ALSOSTARRED IN THE UPCOMING MOVIE

THE HOBBIT, THE DECEMBERSHRAITION OF SMAUG.

>> YOU HAVE CHOSE.

THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.

>> THE HOBBIT IN THE SHIRE.

>> I MUST TELL YOU, I FOUNDSOMETHING IN THE GOLDEN TUNNELS.

>> FOUND WHAT?

>> WHAT DID YOU FIND?

>> MY COURAGE.

>> Jon: A COURAGE BAG OFCRACK? WELCOME TO THE SHOW IAN

MCKELLEN!

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] IANMCKELLEN! THEY LOVE IT!

>> THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

WHAT LOVELY FRIENDS YOU HAVEGOT.

>> Jon: LOVELY PEOPLE HERE.

>> ADORABLE!

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: WE BUS THEM IN FROM A

LOCAL METHADONE CLINIC AND THEYARE JUST SO HAPPY FOR THE

COMPANY.

>> LOVELY.

>> Jon: AS YOU CAN TELL WHENYOU FIRST WALKED OUT WE SHOT THE

HOBBIT WITH THAT FORCEDPERSPECTIVE WHICH MAKES IT

APPEAR AS THOUGH I AM MUCHSMALLER.

IAN MCKELLEN.

HOW ARE YOU? NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> THAT BEARD AND MUSTACHE, ANDEVERY SINGLE CHARACTER KNOWS IN

THE HOBBIT THEY WEAR A WIG.

>> Jon: IS THAT THE CASE?

>> YES, IT IS,.

>> Jon: IT IS AN ALL -- WHATARE THEY GOING TO DO? THEY ARE

GOING TO HAVE TO DISCOVER MORETOLKIEN WHEN THIS IS OVER OR NEW

ZEALAND WILL IMPLODE.

>> THERE IS PLENTY MORE ASSTEPHEN COLBERT WILL TELL YOU,

THERE IS MORE.

>> Jon: DID THEY TAKE FROMTHAT BECAUSE THE HOBBIT, TO GET

THREE MOVIES FROM THE HOBBIT DOTHEY BORROW MATERIAL FROM OTHER

PLACES?

>> THEY DO A BIT BUT THINK ABOUTTHIS.

THIS IS THE ADVANTAGE OFLITERATURE OVER FILM.

TOLL CAN I ENWRITES.

>> TOLKIEN WRITES TENS OFTHOUSANDS ARRIVE GONE PLAIN.

>> THAT ISN'T ENOUGH, YOU HAVETO SEE THE 10,000 ARRIVING, IT

TAKES A LONG TIME FOR 10,000ARRIVING.

>> Jon: YOU CAN MEET EACH GUY.

>> IT CAN GO ON AND ON, IT ISBASICALLY THE SAME STORY BUT A

BIT MORE OF GANDALF AND WHAT HEIS UP TO.

HE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH -->> Jon: OH! REALLY?

>> NO, NO.

>> Jon: OH! I THOUGHT WOW,THEY ARE TAKING LINTS HERE.

DID YOU KNOW WHEN YOU WEREYOUNGER DID YOU KNOW HELEN

MIRREN WHEN YOU WERE STARTINGOUT WITH HER?

>> I KNEW OF HER.

>> Jon: YOU NEVER MET HER?

>> SHE WAS NOT QUITE TO MYTASTE, I'M AFRAID.

>> Jon: NO, NO, NO. I DIDN'TMEAN THAT AS A KNOW HER IN THE

BIBLICAL SENSE M THE BIBLICALSENSE.

>> Jon: SO I.

>> SO I HAD THIS ACTRESS ONJENNIFER LAWRENCE, TERRIFIC

ACTRESS.

>> YES.

WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING TO HELPHER.

>> Jon: SO I POINT OUT, VERY,I THINK, SHREWDLY, AND WITH

GREAT ANALYSIS SHE LOOKS LIKE AYOUNG HELEN MIRREN.

DO WE HAVE A PICTURE.

PUT IT UP THERE.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

>> NOT PARTICULARLY.

>> Jon: OH, NO! REALLY? REALLY?

>> I KNOW JENNIFER LAWRENCE, IHAVE WORKED WITH HER.

>> Jon: SHE IS LOVELY.

>> SHE AND THE "X-MEN".

>> Jon: EXACTLY.

SHE PLAYED MYSTIQUE.

>> YES.

>> Jon: SEE NOW.

>> SHE IS THE BLUE ONE.

>> Jon: NOW YOU KNOW THAT WASMY JAM.

NOW HOW ABOUT FOR YOU WHEN YOUWERE SORT OF A YOUNG GUY, DID

YOU READ THE COMIC BOOKS? WEREYOU INTERESTED THIS THAT SORT OF

THING IS WAS IT A LITERATURETHING?

>> WELL, THEY WERE AMERICAN, ANDDURING THE WAR, WE DIDN'T GET

MUCH OF ANYTHING FROM ANYWHERESO THE LOCAL COMICS WERE VERY

PALTRY AND NOTHING LIKE THECOMICS THAT YOU HAVE, SO NO, I

DIDN'T READ THEM.

>> Jon: DURING THE -- DO YOURECALL THE ISOLATION OF THAT?

WHAT WAS THAT FEELING LIKE? IDIDN'T REALIZE YOU WERE THERE

DURING THAT TIME.

>> WELL, I WAS BORN IN 1939 ANDI LIVED IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND,

WE WERE SAFE FROM BOMBS AND WEHAD EVACUEES WHO CAME FROM

LONDON TO LIVE WITH US, AND WEHAD FAMILIES TO ESCAPE THE

BLITZ.

BUT I SLEPT UNDER A METAL TABLEUNTIL I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD, IN

CASE THERE WAS A BOMB IN THEHOUSE.

WE PUT TAPE OVER THE WINDOWS SOTHE GERMANS COULDN'T SEE WHERE

WE LIVED, IT WAS A FACTOR OFLIFE.

>> Jon: OF DOING THAT?

>> YES.

>> Jon: I SLEPT ON A METAL,UNDER A METAL TABLE TOO BECAUSE

MY PARENTS DIDN'T LIKE ME.

>> BUT NOW YOU HAVE GOT THE TVPROGRAM.

>> Jon: YOU ARE THE MOSTEMPATHETIC MAN.

THEY DIDN'T KNOW THAT AT THETIME.

I EVEN TOLD THEM -- WERE THEYOKAY WITH YOU BECOMING AN ACTOR?

>> WELL, MY MOTHER WAS -- BY THETIME I BECAME AN ACTOR SHE HAD

SAID AND IT IS A CONSTANTCOMFORT TO ME, MY AUNT, IF HE

DECIDES TO BECOME AN ACTOR, IWAS 11 AT THE TIME, HE WOULD

BRING A LOT OF TREASURE TOPEOPLE.

>> Jon: THAT IS LOVELY.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>> Jon: WHAT A LOVELY

SENTIMENT.

>> SO I LIVED MY LIFE TRYING TOGET PEOPLE TO ENJOY THEMSELVES.

>> Jon: ISN'T IT INTERESTINGSHE SAID SUCH AN ODD THING OF

THATER HE ARE A -->> SHE LOVED TO GO TO THE

THEATRE AND SHE HAD A LOT OFPLEASURE IN THE AUDIENCE AND SHE

DOCK ME TO THE THEATRE SO ITHOUGHT BEING AN ACTOR WAS A

GOOD THING.

>> Jon: I ALWAYS WONDERED INTIMES OF REAL STRIFE AND TROUBLE

THAT THEATRE PROVIDES SUCHRELIEF, YOU KNOW, YOU IN ENGLAND

AND IN THAT TIME, EVERYBODY ISSTRUGGLING, THE THEATRE IS SUCH

A WONDERFUL ESCAPE FOR PEOPLE.

THAT MAGIC.

>> HELEN AND, HELEN MIRREN AND IWERE DOING A PLAY IN 2001, THE

DANCE OF DEATH, IT IS BYSTENBERG, A LOT OF POPULAR SHOWS

IN THE MAINSTREAM AUDIENCE, YOUCOULDN'T GET ON AND OFF THE

ISLAND, ALL OF THE LONG RUNNINGSHOWS, THE PRODUCERS HAD RUN OUT

OF AUDIENCE BECAUSE THE OUT OFTOWNERS WEREN'T GETTING TICKETS.

AND WE WERE THE LATEST SHOW INTOWN AND YOU COULDN'T GET

TICKETS THAT NEW YORKERSABSOLUTELY HAD TO GO TO THE

THEATRE.

YOU HAD A SENSE THERE WAS AFUTURE, THERE WAS A LIFE.

>> Jon: AND THERE WAS IANMCKELLEN BRINGING PLEASURE TO

PEOPLE.

>> THERE YOU GO.

>> Jon: DURING OUR BLITZ WHILETHE REST OF US WERE HIDING UNDER

METAL TABLES.

IS WHAT WE WERE DOING.

IT IS ALWAYS SUCH A PLEASURE, MYFRIEND, THE HOBBIT IN THEATERS

ON THE 13TH, IAN

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