Cinema: Sir Ian McKellen: Ready for His Closeup

With two brilliant film turns, stage star Sir Ian McKellen is now a knight out in Hollywood

Ian McKellen, we'll have you know--and he will too--is not an old man, though you wouldn't guess that from his two new movies. He plays the frail, 67-year-old movie director James Whale in Gods and Monsters, and a Nazi near 80 in Apt Pupil. "People must think I'm in my 70s," he says with a sigh. "My danger is being typecast older than I am." But that, ladies and gentlemen, is Acting. Sir Ian is a lithe 59, two years junior to Redford, Nicholson, Hoffman. He doesn't care to be cast forever as grandpa or the grand codger--a premature Gielgud.

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