Sir Ian McKellen is a great actor. Beyond being nominated for almost every acting award known to man, in 1991 he was actually knighted for his service to the performing arts. He’s an actual knight of theater, so when he gives you tips on acting you better listen. In this vintage clip, McKellen performs the opening line from The Merchant of Venice multiple times. With each performance, he interprets the dialogue in a slightly different way, giving stunningly different readings each time. It’s a brilliant tribute to the subtle variations that separate good actors from great actors. Whether you’re a professional actor or just enjoy the art form, this is a priceless lesson in the art of theater.