If you’ve ever contemplated asking Sir Ian McKellen to officiate your wedding, here’s a tip: don’t ask him to appear in costume.
The 77-year-old actor turned down an offer made through a mutual friend to wed Napster founder Sean Parker and his now-wife, Alexandra Lenas. Parker was throwing a Tolkien-esque wedding. McKellen is famous for playing Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies.
“I said, ‘I am sorry, Gandalf doesn’t do weddings,’” the actor reportedly told the Daily Mail. “I don’t go dressing up, except in plays and things.”
McKellen was not aware the request came from Parker. It’s probably a good thing the actor ended up turning down the wedding, as it became a controversial affair for Parker and his wife.
For the ceremony, which took place in an ecologically sensitive area of Big Sur, California, in June 2013, Parker reportedly built a cottage, fake ruins, waterfalls, staircases and a huge dance floor near iconic redwoods. The entire celebration ended up setting the billionaire back over $2.5 million in fines (He later said he “conceded” to pay the sum to the California Coastal Conservation for conservation programs, and the Ventana Inn & Spa, which owns the land, but was not fined).
Parker did manage to land at least one person from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy at his wedding ― costume designer Ngila Dickson. Dickson outfitted each guest in Middle-earth-esque costumes, so at least some were getting turnt for Tolkien, even if Gandalf couldn’t be there.