Unclear whether Lear will be naked on PBS

July 14, 2008 at 11:17 AM
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LOS ANGELES, July 14 (UPI) -- 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."

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