While on a pub crawl to celebrate his birthday, Ben Coyles, a devoted fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, was dressed as Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings when he unexpectedly encountered Sir Ian McKellen.
The renowned British actor, famous for his portrayal of the wizard Gandalf in the highly successful film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, happened to be in Bristol for a stage performance.
On April 13th, Ben and his friends were headed to the next bar to continue celebrating when they unexpectedly crossed paths with the Oscar-nominated actor. Upon spotting him, Ben’s friends were able to snap a few photos of him with his hero.
Felix Spencer, one of Ben’s friends, recounted the surprising encounter, stating that they were on their second-to-last stop of the pub crawl when someone approached them with an offer to introduce their Gandalf to the real Gandalf. The group had no prior knowledge of the actor’s presence and were taken aback by the chance encounter.
“So I turn around and assume it’s going to be someone pulling my leg but when I turn round Sir Ian McKellen is right there.”
While a few of Ben’s friends were aware that McKellen was in town to perform in the stage production of Mother Goose at the Bristol Hippodrome alongside comedian John Bishop, they had no idea that they would cross paths with him.
According to Ben, a music student at the University of Bristol, the experience was extremely unusual. Initially, he failed to identify the person before realizing that it was none other than Sir Ian McKellen.
Ben exclaimed, “OH MY GOD, IT’S SIR IAN MCKELLEN!” The unexpected encounter caused a commotion, and everyone was taken aback. Sir Ian McKellen greeted Ben on his birthday, inquired about his age, and extended his greetings by shaking his hand.
“I was flabbergasted, I had no idea what to do or say.” the speaker expressed. The fact that he was walking on the same street as them was a complete surprise to everyone.
According to the speaker, Sir Ian McKellen is a wonderful and humble person who is very approachable. The speaker expressed his desire to invite him for a drink.