The Evening Post
February 4, 2000Ring Star Rates NZ, Jackson
Creating The Lord Of The Rings wizard Gandalf has included
three-hour makeup sessions and testing a droopy moustache that "looked like a double
for The Beatles' Maharishi", movie star Sir Ian McKellen says.
On his website, Sir Ian - who arrived in Wellington last
month for the $360 million film project - has explained his transformation into the
wizard, and his impressions of New Zealand and director Peter Jackson.
He said he found New Zealand congenial for British visitors:
"The language is the same and you can buy Marmite and Cadbury's chocolate. The Queen
is on the banknotes (although they are made of a non-creasable, washable, transparent
plastic) and there is scandal about Prince Edward in the Woman's Weekly which would be
considered too racy for even the UK tabloids."
He described filming at Matamata, site of the Hobbit village,
Hobbiton, and screen tests for the real Gandalf look. During the first test, he found
Gandalf's beard too long.
"Peter Jackson suggested a droopier moustache. I
suddenly looked like a double for The Beatles' Maharishi (Indian guru)," Sir Ian
Jackson also gets the thumbs up: "I haven't been here
long enough to judge if Peter is a national hero, but he should be up there with Sir