McKellen: Playing the Part

Regno Unito, 2017, HD, 93', col.


Joe Stephenson

McKellen: Playing the Part

"Human beings act all the time. We never show all of ourselves to others, only a part." This is how Ian McKellen, 78, called "Sir" since he was knighted in 1990 for his merits as an actor, mocks himself in this documentary, which is a long and personal interview. He talks about his childhood, his years as a young man at prestigious Cambridge University, his stage debut and his successes as a Shakespearean actor in the National Theatre Company, under the guidance of Laurence Olivier. He also describes his successful movie career, which earned him two Oscar nominations for the gay cult classic Gods and Monsters (its success "made me feel better more than anything else," he says) and The Lord of the Rings, where he plays Gandalf. But he also opens up about the discovery of his homosexuality at a young age and his coming out at the age of 49, after which he took his place on the front line in the fight against discrimination.


Peter Gabriel


Ian McKellen


Joe Stephenson, Mark Birmingham, Lene Bausager, Sophie Gibber


B Good Picture Company, Surreal Films


Park Circus Group


Joe Stephenson


Joe Stephenson is a graduate of the New York Film Academy and has worked for Ealing Studios and Icon. In 2009 he directed his first short film, The Alchemistic Suitcase, and then founded the B Good Picture Company, for which he directed and produced the TV series “In Love With…” for Sky Arts. He then directed and produced the TV movie The Happy Prince with Stephen Fry (2014), his first feature film Chicken (2015), the short film Random Acts: Ian McKellen On Growing Up Gay and Coming Out and the documentary McKellen: Playing the Part (2017).