Skip to main content

Ian McKellen tells Sean Parker what's cooler than a million dollars

Ian McKellen tells Sean Parker what's cooler than a million dollars


A night at home, not in a Gandalf costume

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Money can't buy happiness, or Ian McKellen's dignity!

In a recent interview with The Daily Mail, the British knight who has more acting awards than I have square feet in my apartment has revealed that he was once invited to officiate Sean Parker's wedding in exchange for $1.5 million. McKellen says he would "perhaps" have "considered" the invite if the Napster co-founder and early Facebook investor hadn't required that he come dressed as Gandalf, the fictional wizard hero from J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings.

"i don't go dressing up"

"I don't go dressing up — except in plays and things," he explained. I have to sympathize with McKellen here: if you offered to pay me $1.5 million to write special tweets for your wedding, I would be like "I don't go sharing my incredible wit and insight — except on blogs and things."

Recounting the rest of the details of Parker's McKellen-less event sort of makes me feel like I'm writing an uninvited and too on-the-nose sequel to The Circle, but here I go! Parker, Silicon Valley billionaire, interchangeable in my mind with Justin Timberlake no matter what I'm told, provided all of his wedding guests with Lord of the Rings-inspired attire designed by the Academy Award-winning costume designer for Lord of the Rings, Ngila Dickson. He also provided his guests with banquet tables draped in fur, loaded up with entire pigs. He also provided his guests with a petting zoo that contained exclusively white rabbits. Jack Dorsey and Emma Watson were there, even though neither have appeared in Lord of the Rings films!

The event reportedly cost $10 million and involved damaging a centuries-old redwood forest.

Parker has been married for three years and he now has two children, so his life seems to be going just fine. It is a great comfort, however, to know that at one point a very rich person did not get what he wanted.