By Sydney Bucksbaum
January 11, 2020 at 11:30 AM EST

Ian McKellen is giving fans a closer look at the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On Friday, the actor tweeted out a link to journal entries he wrote while filming the fan-favorite films over two decades ago.

Everett Collection

“20 years ago, I arrived New Zealand to begin filming The Lord of the Rings,” McKellen said in a tweet. “I joined the cast on January 10, 2000. During that time, I kept a journal, which today would be called a blog. Perhaps you’ll enjoy reading about those heady times.”

The journal entries begin with McKellen’s casting back in August of 1999 and continue on through his travels to New Zealand, pre-production, filming, and premieres of all the films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

“While filming The Lord of the Rings, I began recording my impressions in The Grey Book — named for Gandalf the Grey, the wizard who leads the Fellowship of The Ring in its fight against Sauron, the Lord of the Rings,” McKellen wrote. “This was one of the earliest blogs, launched before the term came into widespread use. Originally posted like a blog, with the newest entries at top, in 2010 the entries on this page were rearranged into chronological order from 20 August 1999 to 14 December 2001. After 2001, I began an additional volume of entries called The White Book.”

McKellen’s journal entries cover a range of topics like his scheduling overlap with the X-Men franchise, his first time trying on the Gandalf costume (and beard!), working with his cast mates and more. Fans can read all of McKellen’s journal entries here.

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