This week’s Sunday Spotlight shines on veteran British actors of stage and screen Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. The pair are currently starring in two Broadway shows, Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land.”
This is not the first time that the actors’ paths have crossed. The two stars, who appear together in the X-Men movies, have a long history and friendship.
“We have shared experiences of working for the Royal Shakespeare Company,” McKellen told ABC’s John Donvan. “At the same time, but never in the same plays.”
But before they were friends, Stewart - who was working in British regional theater at the time - was a huge admirer of McKellen, a member of Laurence Olivier’s prestigious National Theatre Company in London’s West End.
See More of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in a “This Week” Web Extra
“The West End, somewhere that I could only fantasize about,” Stewart said. “And so I was a fan to begin with, and I carry a little of that with me still.”
“Waiting for Godot” and “No Man’s Land” opened to critical acclaim at The Cort Theatre in New York last month, and their runs on Broadway continue into March 2014. During the previews of the plays, Stewart and McKellen shared a dressing room.
“We both sleep a great deal,” Stewart said. “The bed is the most important piece of furniture in the dressing room.”
For Stewart, 73, and McKellen, 74, having another seasoned actor in the ranks is great off-stage as well as on.
“It’s very nice not to be the only old man in the play,” McKellen said. “There are aches and pains or tiredness, so we can just sympathize with each other.”
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