Sir Ian McKellen appeared alongside fellow knight/BFF Sir Patrick Stewart and “Logan” co-star Hugh Jackman, where the “Lord of the Rings” star related a hilarious anecdote featuring Dame Maggie Smith, a.k.a. the Dowager Countess of “Downton Abbey” fame.
As he recalled, Sir Ian bumped into Dame Maggie on the red carpet at the 2002 Oscars, where he was nominated for playing Gandalf the wizard in “The Lord of the Rings”, while she was also up for an award, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Gosford Park”.
“What are you here for?” she asked him, with McKellen launching into a pitch-perfect impression of Smith, who was curious about the green stone he was wearing around his neck. McKellen explained to his fellow nominee that the stone was a “pounami,” a special rock from New Zealand (where he filmed “LoTR”) that is believed to bring luck.
A few hours later after the ceremony had ended — with neither Smith nor McKellen taking home an Oscar — they encountered each other again.
“Of course, at the end everyone else wins the Oscar apart from you,” quipped McKellen, “and a bit dejected you’re coming out looking forward to a drink and you bump into Maggie Smith, and she points at you and says, ‘Didn’t work, did it?'”