McKellan was the only performer to receive an acting Academy Award nomination for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
McKellan turned down the role of Professor Albus Dumbledoor in Harry Potter and The Prizoner of Azkaban
McKellan stated that appeal of the X-Men films to him was the concept of mutants being shunned, something he says he identifies with as he was repeatedly shunned as an open homosexual.
McKellan wore a prosthetic nose for the role of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
McKellan was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon, England.
McKellan was awarded the 1989 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello.
McKellan was awarded the 1984 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Coriolanus.
McKellan was awarded the 1989 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello.
Before performing the role of Gandalf, he listened to a recording of Tolkien reading Gandalf lines from the novel. He imitated the accent used by Tolkien in the recording for the movie.
McKellan was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1991 for Best Actor in Richard III at the Royal National Theatre.
McKellan was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1985 for Best Actor in a Revival for Wild Honey.
McKellan was recommended for knighthood by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
McKellan only saw X-Men 2 on DVD.
McKellan was offered the part of Mission Commander Swanbeck in Mission: Impossible II. He was not able to accept the role due to a prior theatre engagement.
Played an ex-Nazi soldier in Apt Pupil, and an ex-Jewish prisoner in X-Men.
McKellan is a vegetarian.
McKellan got a tattoo of the Elvish character for 9 along with all the other members of the fellowship in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
McKellan originated the role of Antonio Saleri in the Broadway production of "Amadeus."
McKellan plays a vampire in the video for "Heart" by the Pet Shop Boys.
McKellan was knighted in 1990.