Ian McKellen on Playing a 'Different Sherlock Holmes'
Sherlock Holmes has been reincarnated many times over since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gifted the literary world with the infamous sleuth in his late 1800s book series.
Basil Rathbone set the pipe-and-deerstalker standard. Recently, there's the butt-kicking, muscly Holmes portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in the Guy Ritchie-directed actions films and the Benedict Cumberbatch BBC version with a modern twist.
“More than 100 actors have played Sherlock Holmes with great success, some of them on stage, TV, film, on radio,” Ian McKellen, who tackles the role in "Mr. Holmes," tells “Made in Hollywood.” “I was comforted by the fact that this is a different Sherlock Holmes.”
In “Mr. Holmes,” the conceit is that the detective is a real person, now retired at 93 years old, his sharp skills are in decline as he attempts to solve his latest mystery — dead bees — with help from a boy. The investigation brings him back to his final case, which happened three decades earlier since his retirement, through flashbacks.
“The real Sherlock Holmes wasn’t quite like the Sherlock Holmes you think you know or that I thought that I knew,” says McKellen “So I didn’t feel I was trampling over anybody else’s territory. This is unique — 93 years old out solving the mystery of the heart.”