Andy Warhol’s Interview Interview: Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

ANDY WARHOL: What did you have for breakfast?

PATRICK STEWART: A self-made protein smoothie to wash down a bucketful of supplements.

IAN McKELLEN: Homemade muesli soaked in fresh-squeezed orange juice, with poached apples and blueberries, and a magnesium pill.

WARHOL: Do you dream?

STEWART: I rarely dream but the last one was sexual (very rare) and of a homo-erotic nature (so rare as to perhaps be the first.)

McKELLEN: That’s a bit personal.

WARHOL:  Do you keep a diary?

STEWART: No diary, but I do write 2,000- or 3,000-word memorandums from time to time.

McKELLEN: Not these days, though I did for a time in my teens, with a padlock through the pages. When I realized that my dad had found the key, I stopped.

WARHOL: How were you discovered?

McKELLEN: I owe a great deal to Harold Hobson, doyen drama critic of the U.K. Sunday Times, who championed me as Shakespeare’s Richard II at the 1969 Edinburgh Festival.

STEWART: Appearing from my mother’s vagina.

WARHOL:  What was your first job?

McKELLEN: As a member of the acting company of the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

STEWART: At 15, I went to work for my local weekly newspaper as a very, very junior reporter. I could be Rupert Murdoch now if I’d kept at it. Luckily for everyone, the job lasted a year.

WARHOL:  Who was the nicest person you worked for?

STEWART: Jeffrey Katzenberg. He delivered my breakfast into the sound booth where I was recording The Prince of Egypt [1998]. And soon after I got home from that day’s work, he rang me to say thank you and well done. A Prince of Cinema.

McKELLEN: Judi Dench, who loves giving surprise presents with hand-written cards.

WARHOL:  What’s the craziest thing a fan has sent you?

STEWART: I don’t want to say, as it would encourage others.

McKELLEN: A knitted Gandalf doll.

WARHOL: Have you had any nutty fans who scared you?

STEWART: Yes, several. And they have no idea how much their craziness costs one.

McKELLEN: Not so far, mainly because Gandalf and Magneto can be a bit scary themselves, perhaps. You don’t want to tangle with a 7,000-year-old wizard or the Master of Magnetism.

WARHOL:  Are you a good cook?

McKELLEN: I’m brilliant at cooking my stepmother’s scrambled egg recipe. The secret is to put eggs, butter, milk, and seasoning together in the saucepan, and to keep stirring with a wooden spoon under a low heat until the preferred consistency is reached. That’s what I eat every night in No Man’s Land, where my character has breakfast at the top of Act 2.

STEWART: I don’t cook … But I bake!

WARHOL:  Is there anything you regret not doing?

McKELLEN: Coming out earlier than I did, when I was 49.

STEWART: Parachuting out of a plane. My father did it several times into action and under fire.

WARHOL:  Isn’t New York great?

McKELLEN: Yes. I love the Broadway audiences, who relish live drama and don’t hesitate to display their enthusiasm.

STEWART: Favorite thing about New York? Got to be New Yorkers.