Sir Ian McKellen: What I've Learned

The actor on football, wizards and owning your own pub

When I was 25, I wish I’d know how easy it is to be out. I think my life started when I was 49. It was like discovering religion and being born again. The person who encouraged me to do so was Armistead Maupin, author of Tales Of The City. It was the best advice I've ever had, for my life and my career.


Some relationships get easier as you get older, depending on what sort of person you are. I don’t think I’ve got any better at them.

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I like sleeping a lot. I was asleep half an hour ago. My friend said I enjoy it because I don’t want to face up to the world.


Self presentation is something we all care about. Once human beings start wearing clothes or cutting their hair – neither of them particularly natural things to do – then you are making decisions as to how you look and how you want people to think.


Acting is a very big part of what human beings do.  A dog is always a dog, but we’re always changing.

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Sport has a terrible issue with encouraging players to come out. Not a single professional soccer player out of five thousands has dared to yet. They're frightened of what the reaction’s going to be on the terraces. That’s not right in this day and age. 


My favourite alcoholic drink is red wine, but at the moment I’m not drinking. I’m part-owner of a pub so I shouldn’t be saying that.


When you own your own pub you quickly learn not to buy a second pub. It’s a big bother and it doesn’t make you any money. You do it for the fun of it.
 

When I watch young people moving I think: “if they only knew… when they’re a little bit older, they won’t be able to run like that or jump like that or skip about.”


Each age has its benefits. I quite like it when I’m on the tube and people offer me their seat. Sometimes I take it. The other day I was offered a seat by a pregnant lady. I thought “that’s going a bit far.”

Sir Ian was interviewed at the May Fair Hotel for the Warwick Rowers 2015 Calendar launch. The calendar, which is sold in support of Sport Allies, can be bought here.

 


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