Months before The Hobbit premiered, Sir Ian McKellen revealed an exceptionally personal (and completely understandable) moment about how working tirelessly for hours talking to imaginary beings in greenscreen can wear an actor down.
In an interview with Contact Music, Gandalf explained how working in this environment eventually brought him to tears
"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. 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."
We never fully understood the magnitude of what McKellen was truly talking about until this amazing FX reel from Weta was released. The video is bananas; the people at Weta are absolute wizards and should win every award for creating such a lush world out of nothing. However, watching McKellen talk to a green set of nothingness during one of the more human moments of the movie is downright creepy. We totally get it now, Sir. How could you not lose your mind? it's eerie! And yet, we never suspected a thing in the final cut.