I wish that, just for a moment, Ian McKellen actually possessed some of those nature-bending powers that he wielded in the “Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men” films because it would have been a delight to see him turn the set of “The View” into a charred crater.
The esteemed 70-year-old thespian was a guest on the ABC daytime show last week and the footage is excruciating to watch. I have to say I didn’t know much about this show beyond its reputation for shrill banality but, after watching this, I’m discouraged by the fact that this a nationally aired show. (Thanks by the way to Jay West for sending me the link.)
McKellen was on to promote “The Prisoner,” the new six-episode AMC series that begins Nov. 15, but he was met with a quartet of hosts who had their own flaky agendas. One of them had snippy and random things to say about British healthcare, which she obviously knows nothing about. Another asked McKellen: “Do you think you’re creepy?” and later gushed about his film performance as “Mag-Netto.” Must be a big fan. And then (at the 4-minute mark) the million-dollar question from a croaky Whoopi Goldberg: “Now, are you coming back to ‘Harry Potter’?” Uhhh…
McKellen, who has never been to Hogwarts, said that he expects that he will be back as Gandalf in “The Hobbit” films but added that he doesn’t have a contract yet and, with a small aside about that, hinted that the dealings might not be a slam dunk. He also pointed out with some good cheer that after he went public as a gay actor his film career took off, which runs counter to traditional Hollywood career wisdom. Did anyone on the show sense that there might an interesting follow-up question on one of these points? Nope. Goldberg thought it better to ask if there would be any black Hobbits in the new movies. Oh, right, well, there you go.
All this reminds me of an old saying: You know the worst part of having your head up your own backside? “The View.”
— Geoff Boucher
RECENT AND RELATED
Photo: Ian McKellen as Gandalf (not Dumbledore). Credit: New Line