With Christopher Lee’s passing, there has already been a lot of reflection on his career and life, most notably his connection to the Lord of the Rings franchise. He played Saruman, the nemesis to Ian McKellen’s iconic Gandalf. Lee was the only member of the Rings cast to actually know J.R.R. Tolkien in life, and it was a lifelong dream of his to play a role in a film adaptation should one ever come about (Gandalf, in particular, but Rings director Peter Jackson preferred him for Saruman).
Lee once said, “I’ve an enormous sense of pride of having been a part of this. It was my dream when I read the books. So dreams sometimes do come true.”
An inspiring sentiment from a man who lived quite the life, which begged the question — what other actors found themselves in similar situations — cast in the dream role?
David Tennant & Peter Capaldi — The Doctor: Playing The Doctor in the BBC’s half-century old sci-fi franchise, Doctor Who, is something very few men can claim. Twelve-ish, in fact (depending on who you ask). David Tennant and Peter Capaldi were both fans of the franchise as children, and would go on to fill the role as the 10th and 12th Doctors in the rebooted franchise. Tennant went even further than the average fan, marrying his costar, Georgia Moffet, the daughter of the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.
Emma Watson — Belle: Everyone knows Emma Watson from her 8 picture stint as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise. In her latest fantasy heroine role, she will go from one book lover to another, as Belle in a live action Beauty & the Beast. In a Facebook post she wrote, “It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to (songs) Be Our Guest and sing Something There. My six-year-old self is on the ceiling — heart bursting.”
Andrew Garfield — Spider-Man: When cast as everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Garfield basked in the moment at San Diego Comic Con, donning a cheap web-slinger costume and going up to the microphone like many a fan before him to declare his love for the hero, and excitement for playing Peter Parker, a character he said he “needed” while growing up. Watch the moment below.
Jimmy Kimmel — To call Jimmy Kimmel a “fan” of David Letterman would be the understatement of the year. Kimmel grew up worshiping the ground Letterman walked on, even going so far as to have a vanity license plate made in honor of The Late Show. In a touching monologue, Kimmel expressed how important Letterman was to leading him on his own path behind a late night talk show desk at Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Now, who do we have to talk to about making Helen Mirren’s dream of being in the Fast & Furious franchise a reality?