Ian McKellen on ‘The Hobbit’: ‘It’s full of fun and humour’

Gandalf actor says Peter Jackson's new trilogy is less serious than 'Lord Of The Rings'

Ian McKellen has revealed that The Hobbit is “full of fun and humour”.

McKellen famously played Gandalf in Peter Jackson‘s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and has reprised the role for the director’s new trio of The Hobbit movies. In an interview with The Observer, McKellen explained that Jackson’s new trilogy has a different tone to the first, which reflects the original source material by JRR Tolkien.

McKellen said: “Tolkien wrote The Hobbit first, and wrote it mainly as a simple adventure story. It was written almost in the first person, his own voice, and it’s a tale of the old world, and Bilbo is simply going on an adventure. In Lord Of The Rings it’s war, written as real war loomed, and they’re going off to save the world: it’s big and it’s serious. But this [film] is full of fun, and humour, in a way which wouldn’t really have been appropriate in Lord of the Rings.”

Explaining how the film’s lighter tone comes across, McKellen continued: “Martin [Freeman] is, apart from anything else, a great comedian, as, of course, are Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, Jimmy Nesbitt. Also, in this one I am, throughout, Gandalf the Grey. In Lord Of The Rings, two of them anyway, I play Gandalf the White, kind of post-resurrection, and there’s a different feel to him; a certainty. But Gandalf the Grey likes boogieing around Hobbiton and having a drink and a smoke and letting off fireworks.”

The first film in Jackson’s new trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is released in the UK on December 13. Alongside McKellen and Freeman, it co-stars Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Sylvester McCoy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Scroll down and click ‘play’ to watch the trailer.