Metro Weekly

Ian McKellen: I wish I’d came out sooner

“I regret and always shall that I didn’t see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one.”

Sir Ian McKellen, Credit - Gage Skidmore

Sir Ian McKellen, Credit – Gage Skidmore

–Sir Ian McKellen, speaking with the Huffington Post. McKellen came out in the late eighties, shortly before he was knighted. McKellen spoke of the “disguise” acting became to shield his sexuality, calling it “somewhere where I could express my emotions, and draw attention to myself in a way that I didn’t particularly want to do in real life.”

“Acting became not about disguise, but about telling the truth,” he said. “And my emotions became much freer. I was able to act better as I think you are able to do any job. Everyone’s better if they’re being honest.”

Now, McKellen is a proponent of living out and proud.

“Self-confidence is the most important thing that anybody can have,” he said. “You don’t have that if part of you is ashamed or hiding something. I can reassure people who don’t feel they’re able to, the world will like you better because people like honesty and authenticity.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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