Sir Ian McKellen turned down $1.5m to marry couple as Gandalf

Facebook billionaire Sean Parker believed to have wanted Lord of the Rings star to officiate at his 2013 wedding


Sir Ian McKellen turned down $1.5m (£1.15m) to conduct a wedding ceremony dressed as his Lord of the Rings character, Gandalf.

The actor is no stranger to the job, having officiated at the marriage of his close friend Sir Patrick Stewart and jazz singer Sunny Ozell in 2013. Nevertheless, he apparently could not be persuaded to don his white robes to join another pair in matrimony.

"I was offered $1.5m to marry a very famous couple in California, which I would perhaps have considered doing but I had to go dressed as Gandalf," he told the Mail on Sunday. "So I said, 'I am sorry, Gandalf doesn't do weddings.'"

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The 77-year-old actor, who is currently starring in a touring production of Harold Pinter's No Man's Lane, added: "I don’t go dressing up, except in plays and things."

McKellen insisted he did not know the identity of the Tolkien-mad tycoon behind the offer, but a source identified him as Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker.

The 36-year-old founded the now-defunct music sharing website Napster and was the first president of Facebook in 2004. His role in the site's development was immortalised by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 movie The Social Network.

Parker married Alexandra Lenas in a lavish woodland ceremony in California in June 2013, with guests, including Sting and Emma Watson, reportedly dressed as characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, says the Toronto Sun.

However, the wedding was far from smooth sailing as conservationists claimed building work being carried out for the ceremony was damaging the surrounding environment.

Parker told The Guardian he and Lenas had been accosted and even spat at by strangers outraged by what Parker called "bogus media reports".

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