McKellen talks Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
Sir Ian McKellen was recently interviewed by The Guardian where amongst other things he discusses Dumbledore vs. Gandalf, the character who he played in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
McKellen says that while he and Michael Gambon are close friends, the topic of “how to play a wizard” has never come up. And as far as if he would have taken over the role of Dumbledore from the late Richard Harris, McKellen said:
“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 [Gambon's predecessor in the Dumbledore role], 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.” He smiles icily. “It would have been unfair.”
When asked who would win the battle between Dumbledore and Gandalf, McKellen never hesitated, “Gandalf. Of course.”