11:20 am EDT, November 1, 2013

Ian McKellen says new Sherlock role ‘more about being a beekeeper’ than a detective

In September we learned Ian McKellen will be teaming up with Bill Condon for a new Sherlock adaptation A Slight Trick Of The Mind, and today the actor is speaking about it for the first time.

In a new interview with Empire which was conducted to promote his upcoming role as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, McKellen said that he’s never been interested in playing the detective but was intrigued by this “charming” book.

“I’ve never had ambitions to play Sherlock Holmes, but this is Sherlock in a very particular place… he’s nearly 100 years old, and in retirement, and it’s more about being a beekeeper than it is being a detective.”

The actor confirmed that, like the in the book, McKellen will be a beekeeper and is looking forwarding to donning that job’s required outfit. “There will be plenty of nets too, because I am not going anywhere near any bees, I’ll tell you that now. I have a healthy respect for bees. I love their honey, but that’s about it.”

Finally, McKellen was asked about his awareness of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock which is set to premiere its third season in the United States this January. He said that he checked out the show because he wanted to see his Hobbit co-star Martin Freeman in the role of Watson, and mused that he knew Cumberbatch’s father at a time when the dad changed his last name to Carlton because “you could never be successful with a surname like that.”

A Slight Trick Of The Mind won’t begin filming until McKellen wraps his current run on Broadway next year. Meanwhile, The Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters this December.

Thanks, Empire via Dark Horizons.

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