Willie Nelson Wants to Celebrate 80th Birthday Starring in ‘The Hobbit: On the Road Again’

Adam Pockross
Movie Talk

Ian McKellen is an amazing actor, with two Oscar nominations and two franchise-anchoring iconic roles. But he's no Willie Nelson.

Or at least that's what the country music legend lets us know at the end of his "The Hobbit 2" audition reel that dropped on Conan O'Brien's Team Coco site yesterday, April 29, one day ahead of Nelson's 80th birthday today.

For reasons not quite explained, yet somehow fully justified, Nelson bares his heart to director Peter Jackson in the hopes of replacing McKellen as the wizard Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" -- though it might be more aptly titled "The Hobbit: On the Road Again".

[Related: ‘The Hobbit’ Exclusive Infographic Stacks Up the Races of Middle-Earth]

While he shares certain pipe smoking affinities with the Tolkien wizard, Nelson doesn't quite deliver the same Gandalf gravitas. After all, it's supposed to be Gandalf the Grey, or Gandalf the White, not Gandalf the Red Headed Stranger.

And Sir Ian himself offers Nelson another reason why Nelson shouldn't get the part…

While Nelson's Gandalf request is one birthday wish we hope won't come true, we would still very much like to wish Willie a very happy 80th birthday, with many happy returns, and a full load of Pipe-weed.

Watch Willie Nelson's Gandalf Audition Reel below. Warning, some strong language and drug references occur.

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