Sir Ian Mckellen - Sir Ian McKellen: Coming out is best thing I did
Sir Ian McKellen says announcing he is gay was a very liberating feeling, but he regrets waiting until he was 49 to tell the world.
Sir Ian McKellen says coming out as gay is the best thing he ever did.
The 73-year-old actor famously revealed he was gay aged 49 during a BBC radio interview, after years of notoriety as a well-respected stage actor, and his only regret is waiting so long to be open about his sexuality.
He explained: ''In the 50s and 60s, the life of a gay man was a secret. Homosexuality was illegal, so you didn't draw attention to yourself. But coming out is the best thing I ever did and I've never met a gay person who didn't think he same.
''Even now there are young actors who want careers as romantic leading men and the best thing is not to reveal you're gay. I suppose I used to wonder if I'd be allowed to play Romeo if I came out.''
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ' star - who reprises his role as wizard Gandalf in Sir Peter Jackson's film - decided to tell the truth, despite fearing his career would suffer, because he felt it wasn't worth lying to himself for the sake of a job.
McKellen said: ''When I came out, I told my stepmother Gladys, and she just said she had known for years and was glad I wasn't lying anymore. Before that, I presumed it would be bad for my career.
''Eventually, I thought if you compromise to the extent of lying about yourself, is there any job in the world that's worth that? I don't think there is. It's still a sensitive issue in Hollywood though.''