Ian McKellen is known for his roles (Gandalf, Magneto, and many more) and Dumbledore is quite a role. Sadly, he didn't accept the role due to circumstances that are, in a way, bizarre. Apparently, the actor Richard Harris (who played Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) stated that Ian McKellen was a bad actor. McKellen had a few interesting things to say in an old interview with StarPulse:
Actor Ian McKellen refused to take over Richard Harris’ role of Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film franchise – because his portrayal of wizard Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy is far superior to the Hogwart's character.
The 68-year-old also admits he turned down the opportunity because replacing Harris would have been unsuitable, since the late actor publicly defamed McKellen’s acting ability shortly before his death in 2002.
McKellen says, “People say to me, ‘Don’t you wish you’d played Dumbledore?’ I say no! I played Gandalf! The original. There was a question as to whether I might take over from Richard Harris but seeing as one of the last things he did publicly was say what a dreadful actor he thought I was, it would not have been appropriate for me to take over his part. It would have been unfair.”
It might be old news, but I wanted to revisit it. I personally believe Ian McKellen would have made the perfect Dumbledore. I have read the books multiple times and every time Dumbledore does or says something, I can't picture Richard Harris or Michael Gambon. I picture someone who can play the kind heart and soft part of Dumbledore, as well as the aggressive and somewhat crazy Dumbledore. Ian McKellen can capture both but, if you're still not convinced, here are a 5 reasons why McKellen should have been Dumbledore.
Ian McKellen Can Pull Off the White Hair
Okay, I know this isn't a huge contributing factor but pulling off the hair would certainly help to play Dumbledore. Dumbledore always had the long white hair, it's his signature and you know who it is when you see him. Richard Harris pulled it off marvelously but McKellen would so as well - just watch Lord of the Rings.
Ian McKellen Knows How to Play a Great Wizard
Who is the better wizard? Gandalf or Dumbledore? Well, they're both great wizards and they both have very interesting quotes and sayings. Ian McKellen would have had no trouble playing another great wizard. It could have been interesting (if possibly confusing).
Both Ian McKellen and Dumbledore are Gay
I know I just entered the realm of a very sensitive subject but I mean no offense to anyone. But if you think about it, the more you are of the character, the better you can play said character. I know this wouldn't have made a better Dumbledore in the long run, but having the actor have the same trait as the character is never a bad thing.
Ian McKellen can be the Gentle and Full of Heart Dumbledore as well as the Agressive Dumbledore.
With both Dumbledore portrayals, we never had both of the Dumbledores. I believe Ian McKellen could have done both and with great ease; he has shown it just with his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Plus he has a resemblance to both, looking as if they'd combined into person - funny how that works.
McKellen is just an all-around nice guy
You might say this is a cop-out. But not exactly when you think about it. Dumbledore can be a very gentle and nice person. If the actor who is playing a role has traits of the character he playing, it adds so much to the portrayal. So if they both are very nice, it makes so much easier for McKellen to make a great Dumbledore.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. What did you think? Comment elow.
"A Wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to" - Gandalf the Grey
(Source of original interview: StarPulse)