Sir Ian McKellan has no time for bullies in Hollywood or elsewhere.
In a joint interview with longtime BFF Patrick Stewart in Friday’s Evening Standard, the 77-year-old star of “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” reflected on his career, which has included a number of military roles like Gandalf and Macbeth.
Noting that he’s “probably played even more military men” than Stewart, McKellen said the reason for choosing those roles is “because I want my revenge on... the people who start wars, perpetuate them and glory in them.”
McKellen, who is openly gay, seemed to shrug off the implication that his sexuality would somehow affect his ability to play those militant roles, noting, “I think gay men are more masculine than straight men. Because, guess what? They love other men!’”
Reaching for Stewart’s hand, he then added, “So when bully boys say: ‘Faggot!’ you say, ‘That’s right, I’m with the boys.’”
The two-time Oscar nominee has been famously outspoken when it comes to the need for diversity, including queer representation, in Hollywood. Earlier this year, he said that criticism of the 2016 Academy Awards for failing to nominate people of color was legitimate, but noted that he hoped that conversation could extend to other minority groups, including LGBT people, on the big screen.
“As a representative of the industry they’re in, [the Academy is] receiving complaints which I fully sympathize with,” he told Sky News. “It’s not only black people who’ve been disregarded by the film industry, it used to be women, it’s certainly gay people to this day.”
With out stars like McKellen breaking boundaries, hopefully that won’t be the case for too much longer.