The Latest on Lord of the Rings from McKellen - The actor discusses his character and the production's status
[Regarding Gandalf's hair and beard:] "After 5 months I am reconciled to having my face disguised by false hair all day and even find some comforting security in the wig, moustache and flowing beard. After all, without them, I wouldn't look (or feel) much like Gandalf. When the wind, or wind machine, blows and the odd wayward hair tickles my cheek or forehead and Jeremy Woodhead is called on set to comb and tease it back, I can get distracted from the acting. At lunchtime, my wig is pinned back and the beard is bundled into a hair-net which snoods it out of the way of salad and dessert. Gandalf the White's beard is more restrained than the Grey's and we can dispense with the hair-net."
[Regarding special effects progress:] "I have seen a few preliminary effects, sketches, as it were, for the final painting. Even at this stage they look convincing; particularly a digitalised fight between a cave troll and a scantily dressed muscle-man who was so impressive I asked for his name. Unfortunately he was as artificial as his opponent."
He also discussed the length of principal photography, which is expected to last until the end of this year. The full article can be read here.