"I've increasingly tried to get out of the way of the words," McKellen said. "Stop telling the audience what you feel. You have to feel it yourself, but you don't have to express it. That's what I'm constantly trying to do: fight against my own tendency" - here he boomed - "to Give Them a Show!" Before I took up my position at the side of the stage, I asked him what he told himself before going on. "'Let it happen,'" he said. "'Listen to the actors. It's because they've spoken that I speak.' I want to thrill them with Shakespeare, not with me." He looked up at me. "There is a difference," he said.
--from a profile of Ian McKellen written by John Lahr. New Yorker 8.27.07