Writing about his decision to take a role in The Da Vinci Code, McKellen said:
“The Catholic Church is upset by the suggestion that Jesus Christ was married and that his bloodline survives to this day. As an atheist I am indifferent. As a reader I couldn’t stop turning the pages of Dan Brown’s book.”
NewsBusters reports on more recent comments of his:
British actor Ian McKellen [Gandalf of Lord of the Rings], piped up: “Well, I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it’s true, not that it’s factual, but that it’s a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they’ve seen it.”
With the camera focused on McKellen, one could hear a distinctly nervous laugh in the background, seeming to come from either actor Tom Hanks or director Howard. McKellen’s stunning bit of blasphemy is likely to test the adage that all publicity is good publicity.
Quite a few people — including many fans of Dan Brown’s book — will probably be displeased with such sentiments, but it’s difficult to argue that significant amounts of the Bible aren’t fiction. Obviously some portions are historical to one degree or another, but any more historical than the “true” parts of Dan Brown’s novel?
Religion & Religious Beliefs: