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Ian McKellen: 'The Hobbit has an emphasis on comedy'

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Ian McKellen has suggested that The Hobbit has more of an emphasis on comedy than the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The actor is reprising his role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson's upcoming three-part adaptation of JRR Tolkein's novels.

'The Hobbit' still


"He's the guy who likes a smoke, a drink and a joke," McKellen told Reader's Digest.

"And he likes going down to Hobbiton and hanging out with those he adores. There's an emphasis in this film on comedy."

Of his decision to return to the project despite its issues in pre-production, he added: "I thought more than twice about it. It begins to wear you down. You think, 'Do I really want to do this?'

"[A friend said,] 'Look, Ian, all the fans of Lord of the Rings want The Hobbit to be made, and they want you in it'.

"I thought, 'Yes, I've a responsibility beyond my own pleasure'. So I had to clear 18 months. And at my age 18 months is quite a long time."

McKellen added of his famous character: "Sometimes I say to parents, 'Do you mind your kids being so fond of Gandalf? He smokes, he drinks, he never seems to wash'.

"But he's got some other qualities that are admirable. I like the fact that Gandalf is grubby round the edges. He's the eccentric granddad who'll get you out of difficulties.
Reader's Digest featuring Ian McKellen


"And support you, push you into dangers. That's not what I'm like as a person, I don't think - but I don't mind being associated with him."

The full interview appears in the December issue of Reader's Digest, out November 20.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released on December 13. Watch the trailer below:

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