24 May, 2016

What do Aamir Khan and veteran actor Ian McKellen have in common? Well, a lot more than you would think.

While both men support the arts and do work for various matters of human rights, it's their love for the British playwright, William Shakespeare that got these two talented actors together in one room.

In his first stop on a 10-country tour, McKellen, who was in India with Shakespeare Lives on Film, a British Film Institute and British Council initiative, engaged in a discussion with the Bollywood actor at the launch of Mumbai Academy of Moving Images’ (MAMI) Film Club.

To commemorate the 400th death anniversary of the bard, the two men spoke about how they had both been inspired by his words.

“Shakespeare introduced me to the world of theatre,” McKellen said. “Shakespeare helps you empathise, because you can’t judge the character that you are playing. He goes right to the heart of every character; The servants are as interesting to him as the boss.”

"Aamir Khan and I are different but we have the same job."
"Aamir Khan and I are different but we have the same job."

Having performed many works of Shakespeare across the globe, Sir Ian McKellen claims, “There is nothing old fashioned about Shakespeare. You cannot understand Shakespeare in a classroom or by reading.”

So all of you who feel lost in Literature class, fret not, it's not your fault!

On understanding the playwright, he adds “The right medium to discover his true genius is through theatre with the right actors, the right director (the way it is meant to be), as theatre, film and cinema are the best media to experience him. His thinking is about modernism and issues that are relevant even today, hence his work travels across the globe,”

Amir Khan adds to this by speaking of his own experience with Shakespeare: “The first time I experienced Shakespeare was in the 10th grade when I studied Julius Caesar. It opened my world to a newness I had never known (before). In fact, my first movie was also inspired by Romeo and Juliet, a true Shakespearean classic.”

We're sure the management at MAMI were giddy over having Gandalf and Magneto as the chief guest!


vijay May 24, 2016 06:28pm
Very happy to see Aamir and Ian together both are very talented and versatile actors.
Rashid Sultan May 24, 2016 07:49pm
both excellent in their art and humanity. A pity that Sir Ian is an active supporter of the anachronistic appeasing Labour Party in Britain.
Calypso May 24, 2016 08:49pm
Shakespeare will continue to inspire generations of artists for ever. It can be a fscinating experience to see the McKellen/Khan on the stage.
ZAFAR May 24, 2016 10:37pm
OMG! Gandalf and Magneto in India :D
uh-oh May 27, 2016 01:04am
Amir khan can read?
Faisal May 30, 2016 04:47pm
About Intolerance.