Empire Online
December 4, 2000

Lee is the No. 1 Wizard
Staff Reporter

Christopher Lee spoke out in the Sunday Times this week about his role in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Speaking about Tolkien’s novel, Lee said, “I was bowled over by it, line for line – and still am. It is magical.”

Unfortunately, the 54-year movie veteran was unable to say much about the first part itself, which has just finished filming: “I can’t discuss anything about it. I signed a confidentiality agreement. I can tell you who I’m playing, of course, because that is common knowledge”.

Lee will play the wizard, Saruman. “He’s more than just a wizard. They are immortals. But they are human-shaped. They’re called the istari. They are immortal. They are maiar. They are sent by the valar, who are the creators, to Middle Earth. There are three wizards to concern yourself with, and I am number one: the most powerful. The most brilliant. The one of the greatest strength: Saruman, the White.”

Lee continued: “The point is, power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, famous phrase, and that’s what happens to him. He’s meant to be the white wizard, but it comes out that he’s gone to the dark side. That’s all in the book. That’s all in the film. And that’s all I can tell you.”Speaking about the whole trilogy, the 78-year-old said: “I want to live long enough to see all of the Lord Of The Rings films come out – that’s 2003, by which time I’ll be 81”. Lee’s future plans also include appearing in Star Wars: Episode II.