Few actors know the works of Shakespeare like Ian McKellen. The legendary star of stage and display screen has trodden the boards many, many instances over time, delving deep into the playwright’s biggest works – and on the age of 84, he’s not executed but. McKellen is again within the title function of Hamlet in a manufacturing filmed on the Theatre Royal Windsor, coming to cinemas for one evening solely, underneath the route of Sean Mathias. And whereas McKellen first performed the function practically 50 years in the past, he’s nonetheless discovering recent resonances within the tragedy of the Danish prince. “Although I believed it was a loopy thought, I believed, ‘I haven’t fairly completed with Hamlet’,” he tells Empire.
Originally devised for the stage, the arrival of COVID as a substitute led to this Hamlet being filmed for the display screen – a medium that provided completely different benefits. “I feel the older Hamlet is much less of a efficiency; it’s extra inner,” explains McKellen. “With the digital camera shut, you may be far more intimate. And that’s what I hoped to do: make the spirit of Hamlet credible. Even thought he wasn’t fairly in the appropriate physique.”
And whereas the character is commonly performed as a youthful prince, McKellen’s breadth of lived expertise presents a unique perspective on Shakespeare’s story of homicide, betrayal, and morbidity. “The different factor that I share with Hamlet is an obsession with demise,” the actor chuckles. “Young individuals in a wholesome mind-set will not be all that concerned about demise; it’s one thing that occurs to different individuals. When you get to my age, it’s one thing that occurs to your folks and your self. Being nearer to demise than I used to be once I first performed Hamlet, I feel, was a bonus.” Get prepared for a Hamlet like no different.
Hamlet, starring Ian McKellen, involves UK cinemas for one evening solely on 27 February.