Happy 78th birthday to Sir Ian McKellen!
Tony winner, five-time Olivier Award winner, Golden Globe winner and two-time Oscar nominee Ian McKellen is 78 today. What a career he’s had in films (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, X-Men, Gods and Monsters) and on the Broadway and London stage (Amadeus, Richard III, Bent, King Lear, Wild Honey). For all his professional accomplishments, one of the things I appreciate and admire most about McKellen is his willingness to talk about being gay. in this It Got Better video from a year ago, he talks about being closeted professionally for a big chunk of his career:
‘In the British theater individuality of course was celebrated. There were other gay people – all of them closeted, discreet. Nobody gave an interview and said they were gay. I thought if I were to talk about it in an interview – because there was opportunities – that it might affect my job prospects. If people knew I was gay they wouldn’t want me to play Romeo for example. … Nobody talked about being gay.’ ‘I wasn’t living a lie – I was just avoiding talking about it in certain situations. I thought this is just how one behaved.’