Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf.
I think it was meeting Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, his partner. They have an air of hippie-dom about them, but what I mistook for being hippies is, in fact, that they are New Zealanders. They’re modest people… They’re passionate… They’re not showy people… Their egos are nicely in place. They’re not related to the rat race at all. They know they live in the most beautiful country in the world, and they have no ambitions to leave it, and they’re very happy to have invented a structure there whereby they can make — and hopefully pull off — this amazing project. When you’re there, you feel there’s nothing much happening in the whole world but his film, so that’s rather alluring. If you’re making a movie in Hollywood or London, well, the Queen lives in London and Spielberg lives in Hollywood — there are other things going on. But in New Zealand, it’s just us, really. You sense that, “Hmm… This is something really important.”
Click here to read the part one of the interview (with successive parts linked from there).
Thanks for notifying us, Jackson!