July 14, 2008

Unclear Whether Lear Will Be Naked on PBS

PBS chief Paula Kerger told reporters in Los Angeles that she doesn't know yet if Ian McKellen's nude scene will appear in a PBS taping of his play King Lear.

McKellen, who is best known for playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Magneto in the X-Men movies, played the title character in the Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of William Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear, which toured last year.

The 69-year-old is to reprise his role for a taping of the production to air on PBS.

The Washington Post said Kerger was asked at a news conference if McKellen's full-frontal nude scene, which occurs when Lear goes mad, would appear in the version her network was planning to air.

The film is just being shot and I haven't actually seen the final version yet, The Post quoted Kerger as responding. We're actually going to bring it to press tour in January, so you'll have a chance to see it then.

Pressed to comment on the possibility of airing the nude scene on PBS, she remarked: Well, it's what I think about it and what the FCC will allow. ... So we'll cross that bridge -- we're bringing it to you in January. Ask me the question again.