December 14, 2001

Tattoos and Friendship Link Rings Cast
Staff Reporter

LONDON (Reuters): The cast reunited at the premiere of the fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings had two things in common - they all had tattoos and all agreed director Peter Jackson was a genius.

Britain's acting knight Sir Ian McKellen described playing the wizard Gandalf in the first Lord of the Rings movie as "the best time I have ever had in my life".

"All members of the cast have got a tattoo. When we had it done in a tattoo parlour in Wellington, we all swore never to tell anyone," he told Reuters Television at the glittering world premiere of Fellowship of the Ring.

"It wasn't painful. In fact it was joyful. It was symbolic of the friendship that kept us together for over a year. For the rest of my life I will be proud to wear this little badge of Lord of the Rings," he said.

But McKellen drew the line at revealing just where he had put his tattoo. "No I won't tell you where it is," he said.

The cast gathered for a raucous group photo on the steps of the Odeon Cinema in London's Leicester Square.