When I first moved to New York, I lived in Harlem. Roughly one out of every four times I went to the bodega on my corner, somebody would yell, “Hey, Harry Potter!” I don’t even wear glasses, but I suppose I was the closest thing they get to a British wizard walking around 130th Street. And fair enough. I, not being a classically trained award winning actor, was not terribly annoyed with people falsely yelling that I was in the Harry Potter movies. But, Sir Ian McKellen is very unlike me in this way. From Contact Music:
Sir Ian McKellen gets frustrated when people think he is Dumbledore from ‘Harry Potter’.
The 71-year-old actor confesses he is a fan of his character in ‘Lord of the Rings’, white bearded Gandalf, but he gets annoyed when people mistake him for Dumbledore from the ‘Harry Potter’ movie series.
Ian McKellen was Gandolf in Lord of the Rings. But he keeps on getting mistaken for Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Apparently, even Whoopi Goldberg made this mistake some months back on The View. I have no idea why, but this story makes me so happy. I can’t describe to you how much I want to hear Ian McKellen yell “I was Gandalf, not Dumbledore!” I want that to happen and then for that to be my ring tone. If any of you do a good Ian McKellen impression, please record yourself yelling that and send it to me. I will make you famous on my Pantech Duo.
Addendum: Interestingly enough, a man who was working on a roof at 148th Street once yelled “Elijah Wood” at me. It was more accurate than the oft used Harry Potter snap, but actually ruffled my feathers a little bit. People in Harlem just don’t understand how it feels to be singled out because of race.