9 December 2012 1:12 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Ian McKellen mesmerised us as a classical actor, but his portrayal of Tolkien's Gandalf has made him a global superstar. Here, he talks to Euan Ferguson about wizards, why the world is a more accepting place and the joy of owning a pub

It's not quite a hole in the ground and Gandalf is not – yet – blowing complex smoke rings of dragons chasing pirate ships, but there is a still a welcomely ruminative, smoky, timeless ambience. We are sitting, Mr McKellen and I – he's not one of those who goes too big on the "Sir" stuff – in the tiny top room of the ancient waterside Limehouse pub the Grapes, which he co-bought a couple of years ago. There are candles, there are golds and reds, there's a big mutual ashtray, and outside the shaking windows the dirty Thames is growing darker, wilder and woollier by the minute.

He is talking of Dickens, »

- Euan Ferguson

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