By Bill Dudley

Sir Ian McKellen has been part of the worldwide entertainment world since 1969. Last week he made a rare public appearance at a SAG screening of his latest film Mr Holmes here in Hollywood.

Mr Holmes features a 93 year old Sherlock Holmes, who is 20 years into retirement and we know not why. He has relocated from his famous Baker St. address in London to the English countryside, with an attentive housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her inquisitive young son Roger. Milo Parker almost steals the show as he grasps the tenuous task of minding Mr Holmes beehives In the back yard.

Ian and Ms. Linney first worked together in the PBS series Tales Of The City. When asked what was his favorite work, he was torn between Shakespearean Theater, and a couple of his films.

Mr Holmes is directed by Bill Conden of “Twilight Saga” fame.  Bill also directed Sir Ian in what just may be his very favorite role, that of James Whale in Gods and Monsters. However, he is best known for his portrayal of the wizard “Gandalf” in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and The Hobbit series.

McKellen may be one of the most open and genuine film stars of this era. He conversed with almost everyone in the audience on a one to one basis. He had the time to attend this screening, as he was prepaid to spend nine months writing his autobiography, but after 2 months, he bagged it, stating “my website tells you all about my career, my personal life is not that interesting, and is already very public.”

The most memorable comment he made was “ I only knew my parents, as parents, not people.”

Sir Ian McKellen can also be seen in the BBC series “Vicious,” plus he has two new films soon to debut Beauty And the Beast, and a remake of Albert Finney’s The Dresser.

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