Sir Ian McKellen Gets Confused For A Homeless Man


Sir Ian McKellen, famed British actor extraordinaire, is so good at his craft that he is able to fool pretty much anyone into believing what he wants them to believe … even without trying. Sir Ian, who is currently in Australia doing rehearsals for his play there Waiting for Godot, stepped outside the theater in Melbourne to take a break in between rehearsals while wearing his full costume … and was actually mistaken by a passer-by as a homeless man. Considering how authentically downtrodden he looks in these photos, I can’t say that I wouldn’t be completely and utterly fooled myself:

Whether he’s playing Gandalf, Magneto or King Lear, Sir Ian McKellen is known for his character roles. But his latest performance was perhaps his most impressive yet – he was mistaken for a genuine tramp as he sat outside a theatre. The 70-year-old X-Men star was wearing his threadbare costume during a break from rehearsing for Waiting For Godot in Melbourne, Australia, when a passer-by gave him an Australian dollar. He tweeted:

“During the dress rehearsal of Godot, I crouched by the stage door of the Comedy Theatre, getting some air, my bowler hat at my feet [and] seeing an unkempt old man down on his luck, a passer-by said, ‘Need some help, brother?’ and put a dollar in my hat. I hope the Melbourne audiences will be as generous. The dollar coin is now lodged between two drawing pins on the board above my dressing room mirror. My lucky talisman.”

The actor recreated the moment for publicity shots – perhaps hoping to increase the interest in the play.

LOL!! I LOVE this story. You can tell that Sir Ian took the passerby’s mistake as a huge compliment. He absolutely looks homeless in these photos … a great testament to his costume and make-up people. I have no doubt that McKellen will be fantastic in Waiting for Godot. I love his films, I would love to see him perform live on stage. I’d happily pay him a dollar and everything!


  • OH WOW! lol I would mistake him for one too

  • krissy

    I looooooove him. He is so amazingly talented, brilliant, thoughtful. Those who have worked with him have said only wonderful things about him to me. I love that twinkle in his eyes.

  • Billie

    I saw the play in London, he was absolutely brilliant in it

  • Pixie

    This actually happened to Bob Dylan as well last year. He was walking around in a smaller city and somebody reported him. The cops showed up, asked for ID but he left it at the venue where he was performing. Unfortunately the young cops had no idea who Bob Dylan was when he told them his name.

  • I am not surprised he was mistaken as a homeless person because he does look like one (especially in that photo). This reminds me of another time when a world renown violinist was totally ignored in a Washington subway.

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  • Jack

    I saw Waiting for Godot in London last August. After queing since 4am, we scored front row tickets! Woot! Definitely worth the wait.

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  • alicia

    omg hahah i love how he didn’t turn it into a diva moment! i wish him and Patrick Stewart would team up on stage!

  • Annie

    I, too, had the amazing privilege of seeing him in Waiting For Godot in London and it was amazing. and I dont know if alicia was joking or not, but Patrick Stewart was the other star of the show when it was in London – and it wasn’t the first time they’d been on stage together either!

  • Ella

    I am watching LOTR for the millionth time right now and I just laughed for like ten minutes.

    @Alicia-I AM SO WITH YOU!

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  • georgie

    he is AMAZING. if you ever get the chance to see him perform in anything, DO IT. i saw him a year or two ago as King Lear in Melbourne (home for me) and he blew me away. it was an amazing production! and Godot is McKellan and roger rees so you can be sure i will be seeing this one!

  • Wow! He’s a genius! He tweeted more than 140 characters! Unbelievable! Ah, perhaps he was playing Gandalf and casted a spell on Twitter.