To me, the pictures of Henry Irving remind me of the eyes of that great Dracula, Christopher Lee!
Peter Jackson himself noted that. When I talked to him about THE TWO TOWERS, he said, "Christopher has an intensity in his eyes I've never seen from any other actor." What is also strange, is I've seen a picture of Henry Irving, where he looks exactly like Mr. Lee!
By the way Sir Christopher is "dying" to get a picture from his role as Flask in MOBY DICK, done for the TV version in 1955. If anyone out there has one, let us know!
Sir Christopher also knew Sir Donald Wolfit when he was starting out, and had this to say about him:
CHRISTOPHER LEE: In THE DRESSER, there's a scene where Albert Finney forgets what play he's in. He forgets he doing KING LEAR, and starts to quote some of the lines from the Scottish play, which causes Tom Courtney, as the dresser, to have a bout of hysteria. The man on whom that part is based —"Sir" as he's called — the part played by Albert Finney, is supposed to be based on the late Sir Donald Wolfit. He was a remarkable actor, and when I was an actor in the beginning of my career, I worked in Wolfit's company. He took companies all around Britain during the war and after the war, and he was quite an extraordinary man. I have actually seen him say, in rehearsal to the electricians, "The spotlight goes HERE!…and don't move it!" All that sort of thing. In THE DRESSER, when Albert Finney comes off the stage, after everyone is trying to create the storm for KING LEAR, with the wind machine and noises you could hear for miles away, he says, "Where was the storm?!" Well, Wolfit was like that. He was either way up there, like that, or else (whispers), right down here. I introduced him to J.R.R. Tolkien, for which he was always eternally grateful. I gave him THE HOBBIT to read, and I've still got the letter he wrote to me, saying, "Thank you, dear Christopher for showing me an enchanted world." I met Tolkien and I still think THE LORD OF THE RINGS is the greatest literary achievement in my lifetime. I also knew T. H. White who wrote THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING. I like fantasy, too!