Ian McKellen paid tribute to Shakespeare in Havana

Posted: 23-Feb-16 12:45

The British actor went to Cuba on holidays last week, but he accepted to give a talk for an enthusiastic audience of fans who remember with great appreciation his incarnations of characters like Gandalf ("The Lord of the Rings") and Magneto ("X-Men").

Ian McKellen paid tribute to Shakespeare in Havana

Ian McKellen spent few days in Havana as a tourist, but before leaving he accepted an invitation from the British embassy to give a talk, in which he remembered the 400 anniversary of writer William Shakespeare death.

At the Ambassador’s residence in Vedado, the actor interpreted a fragment of “Sir Thomas Moore” as a tribute to one of the most important writers in the history of British literature. This year the United Kingdom is hosting a range of exhibitions, openings and other events to commemorate the legacy of the world´s greatest playwright.

McKellen said the fragment of the play in English and without translation, as he considers that Shakespeare´s work gets to be better understood in its original language and in the theatre.

The Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee was asked for his role in “The Lord of the Rings” saga, in which he incarnates wizard Gandalf. He told the public that since he started to participate in the films, he had not realized the importance of Gandalf and Middle-Earth in the world and the people.

“It often happen to me that many young friends, come to me asking if I can surprise them with my powers.”

However, Ian McKellen stated that his most important opportunity in the cinema industry was to be part of “Richard III”, a Shakespeare´s drama for which he wrote the script and played the main role. The film obtained the Silver Bear for the Best Director at the Berlin´s International Film Festival in 1996.

The British actor said that he considers himself a man of the theatre, and he confessed that when he makes a film he usually gets anxious as:

"...there is only one public, the camera, which is not human."

He also offered his opinion on the Oscar´s Race Controversy that was originated few month ago, as in the last two years every actor nominated for the prize is white. McKellen told that:

“...there are many black actors who are feeling that they are not recognised within the film industry as they should for the role they are playing in society.”

The British celebrity said that he knows that discrimination exists, and that he has felt it in his condition of gay person. The arrival of celebrities from all over the world to Cuba increased over the last year, after the diplomatic relations between the island´s government and the United States administration successfully resumed.


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