Ian McKellen is best known as Gandalf the Grey during the duration of the Hobbit, and he talks about the experience of shooting the CGI-heavy film in a recent interview [via Contact Music ].
McKellen, 73 years old, said, ''I had a miserable day. In order to shoot the dwarves and a large Gandalf, we couldn't be in the same set.All I had for company was 13 photographs of the dwarves on top of stands with little lights - whoever's talking flashes up. Pretending you're with 13 other people when you're on your own, it stretches your technical ability to the absolute limits. And I cried, actually. I cried. Then I said out loud, 'This is not why I became an actor'. Unfortunately the microphone was on and the whole studio heard.''
However, he adds that they made it better for him following that day, saying, “'The next day I went into my little tent and it had all been decorated beautifully. Remnants of Rivendell, carpets and cushions, fresh fruit and flowers, things that were hanging. It was lovely.''
It seems surprising that this, of all things, would frustrate him, especially considering that he had to deal with it on the first three Lord of the Rings movies. However, The Hobbit does seem to be less natural locales and more CGI-heavy, so the lack of normalcy may have gotten to him eventually.