While talking to McKellan on BBC's HARDtalk show, host Stephen Sackur, brought up a quote from Richard Harris, who was a critic of Ian Mckellan's saying Ian was, "Technically Brilliant but Passionless."
The good Sir Ian McKellan responded that while the statement was said by Harris, it was nonsense. He then related a story that after Harris passed how the studio talked to Ian about playing a role in Harry Potter.
"When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films, they didn't say in what part. I worked out what they were thinking, and I couldn't... I couldn't take over