No fan of the Lord of the Rings should be surprised upon learning that Gandalf could sit for a tattoo with nary a problem while little Frodo winced with pain. While there may not have been time to stop at the tattoo shop on the way to Mordor, nine of the actors from the film got some ink to remember their roles. Sir Ian McKellen recently spoke about his tattoo and the way Wood took his inking on NPR's Fresh Air with Dave Davies.
DAVIES: Did you and a bunch of the other actors come away with shoulder tattoo - identical tattoos?
MCKELLEN: Yes, and if only this were television, I would happen to show it to you, David. But it's on my upper arm, my tattoo, and it says nine in Elvish - nine members of the Fellowship, of course. But I don't know what the word is, and I can't read it 'cause I can only see it upside down when I look down at it. And from my vantage point, it seems to spell Gucci (ph).
MCKELLEN: Anything less appropriate for Gandalf to have on his arm, I can't imagine.
DAVIES: And, do you like having it now? Do you...
MCKELLEN: I do like having it. I mean, I never see it, really. I never notice it. Sometimes it's a surprise to see it still there. But it does link me to dear people who I don't see enough of. And I remember holding Elijah Wood's hand while he was having it done. It was in a rather tender spot on this body that he wanted his.
MCKELLEN: And he winced every so often, and I was able to help him through that. My dears, it's not childbirth, you know?
MCKELLEN: It’s a tattoo, and a very small one.
Oh, remember when we said that there were nine actors who got the tattoo together? It turns out that isn't quite the truth. John Rhys-Davies, who played the dwarf Gimli, wasn't so keen on the idea of getting a tattoo.
"So I did what any self-respecting actor would do when faced with a stunt that might very well imperil his life," Rhys-Davies told Interview. I sent my stunt double to have it. Seems fair to me, doesn't it? I'm not going to be tattooed by some drunken Maori. ... Not me. I'm a coward."
We always knew that Gandalf was the biggest badass of them all, we're happy to hear that in real life McKellen lives up to that standard.