Ian McKellen on Playing an Elderly Sherlock in Mr. Holmes: ‘It’s Never Too …

14 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ian McKellen on Playing an Elderly Sherlock in Mr. Holmes: ‘It’s Never Too Late to Solve a Puzzle and to Find Yourself’.

“If I didn’t relate, then I wouldn’t be a good actor,” the two-time Oscar nominee told PEOPLE at the New York premiere of Mr. The story is set in 1947, as a cantankerous, retired, 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen), whiles away his days at his Sussex, England, cottage. Holmes” co-star Laura Linney is that while Linney doesn’t use social media, McKellen has developed quite the online presence — and it reminds him of coming out of the closet. “[On Facebook] a lot of people follow things that I do and want to talk about, so I feel I’ve gotten lots of extended friendships with people I’ll never actually meet,” McKellen told HuffPost Live during a Monday conversation about the actors’ Sherlock Holmes film. “And isn’t that wonderful?

Holmes,” out Friday — recalls doing a charity show when he suddenly couldn’t speak. “One-man show, nobody has to come on, audience couldn’t hear a word I was saying,” McKellen tells the News. “I laid down and did some voice exercises but I wasn’t embarrassed. “A friend said afterwards, ‘It was wonderful because you felt so at home.’…If something goes wrong with myself, I don’t disguise it. That was also the same when I came out and discovered I had relationships with like-minded people who didn’t speak the same language as I did, weren’t my age and who I would never meet. Holmes, in theaters Friday, tells the bittersweet story of an elderly Sherlock who is struggling to remember the details of his final case as he loses his memory with old age. From a downtown hotel room, McKellen, 76, and Linney, 51, talked to The Post about the world’s most famous detective and the realities of Hollywood in 2015.

They’d had the problems that I was familiar with.” “It was the best thing I ever did in my life, as every gay person will tell you,” McKellen said. “I grew up overnight, and I was born again. Holmes,” a 1947 period drama directed by Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters”) where the world’s greatest detective (played by Ian McKellen) struggles, at 93, to solve one last case despite his declining powers. “Bill and I are friends,” Linney began. “We’ve done ‘Kinsey,’ ‘The Fifth Estate,’ and he directed the pilot of ‘The Big C,’ ” her acclaimed Showtime series about a woman with cancer. “I’ve always been a Sherlock Holmes fan but didn’t think there was a part for me. Ian McKellen: We know people in common, particularly [“Tales of the City” author] Armistead Maupin, the guy who talked me into coming out as a gay man [in 1988].

It’s no surprise that McKellen, 76, took on the role of the legendary detective – in his career, the star has brought to life some of the most prominent and diverse literary characters in history, from Tolkien’s wise wizard Gandalf to Shakespeare’s brooding, grief-stricken Hamlet. “On set he is so in-character, so focused, just like Sherlock!” Hiroyuki Sanada, Holmes’s whimsical guide in the movie, tells PEOPLE. “My character sees Sherlock as a hero. Everything went better, and it felt as if a great millstone had dropped from my back that I didn’t know had been there.” Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before. Then a day later I got a call from my agent and sneaky, sneaky Bill: ‘He wants you for the movie.’ “Really,” she said cheerfully, “it was only because it was Bill and the subject that I went back so quickly.” Linney plays Mrs. I used my actual admiration for him to channel my character.” “I never want to play certain characters,” he says. “I judge everything based on the script.

You’ve got to get it right all the time. “You’re never quite relaxed but Bill has such a relaxed personality and concern for other people (that) it’s palpable. He’s a very good director to work with under those conditions.” “I’ve known people like that, friends and family, and it’s part of everyday life as you get older measuring your own reactions to things and wondering how long it will be till you can’t remember what on earth they’re talking about,” he says. “So it wasn’t a hard puzzle.

I played King Lear who is a more extreme example of someone who is losing it. “I’m not underestimating how dreadful it would be to have dementia, it’s absolutely horrible. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. “You just thought this was the way it was supposed to be,” he says. “I didn’t feel put on or disadvantaged, just this is how it’s meant to be. Holmes” is not a story about an old man and his housekeeper, it’s about Sherlock Holmes. “Oh, great!” “ ‘Iron Man 5’ is like ‘Iron Man 4.’ ” It’s easy…When I’m making them, I have no idea what they’re about.

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