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'The Hobbit' needed Cate Blanchett, says Ian McKellen

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey star Sir Ian McKellen has insisted it was essential to introduce female characters to JRR Tolkien's story.

The original novel contains only male characters, but the Gandalf actor believes the inclusion of Cate Blanchett's Galadriel was an important addition to the film.

Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf in 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

© New Line Cinema

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' still














McKellen, who reprises his role as the iconic wizard for a fourth time in the first Hobbit instalment, also revealed that fans will catch a glimpse of Bilbo Baggins's mother Belladonna Took when the movie arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.

"One thing Middle-earth is short on is the feminine. It's a pity, because a female dwarf would have been fun," he wrote on his blog.

"Bilbo's mother, the 'famous Belladonna Took', will make a brief appearance in the extended DVD/Blu-ray edition but in the film itself, thank goodness for the ravishing re-appearance of Cate Blanchett's serene Galadriel. She is so sweet to Gandalf, countering the sinister presence of a mournful Saruman at the conference table.

"Actually Christopher Lee wasn't with the rest of us, filming in New Zealand. His contribution was shot back home in London and then sliced into the scene, though you can't tell, of course."

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released in cinemas last week.

Watch Ian McKellen discuss The Hobbit with Digital Spy below:

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