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Television / Movies / Celebrities PopWrapped | Television

Sir Ian McKellen Responds To Damian Lewis' "Fruity" Fighting Words

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PopWrapped

@PopWrapped
12/10/2013 4:03 pm
PopWrapped | Television
Sir Ian McKellen Responds To Damian Lewis'
Media Courtesy of TV Guide & Shakefire.com

Jamie Harsip

Content Editor

Oh, Damian Lewis, don’t you know it’s not wise to disrespect your elders? The Homeland actor recently made headlines for throwing some serious shade at fellow actor Sir Ian McKellen. Although Lewis didn’t mention the Lord of the Rings star by name, in discussing his early career with The Guardian he said he had feared he would become "one of these slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn't start getting any kind of film work until [he] was 50 and then start playing wizards." Tough words from an actor whom, in the same interview, expressed worry over the potential killing off of his character on Homeland. McKellen, who was knighted in 1991, didn’t seem to take the comment on his acting to heart. In his own interview with The Guardian, the accomplished stage actor said, "I wouldn't like to have been one of those actors who hit stardom quite early on and expected it to continue and was stuck doing scripts that I didn't particularly like just to keep the income up.” Now that’s a burn delivered with class. We would expect nothing less. Like Lewis, McKellen refrained from actually naming names in his retort. Addressing Lewis’ implication that McKellen couldn’t get work in film until reaching a certain age, the latter said, "I've always wanted to get better as an actor. And I have got better. You've only got to see my early work to see that…As for a fruity voice? Well, it may be a voice that is trained like an opera singer's voice: to fill a large space.” Far from upset, in fact, McKellen went on to say, "No one needs to feel sorry for me or Michael Gambon [Dumbledore from the Harry Potter films] or anyone else who has fallen victim to success.” The part of Lewis’ comment that seems to have irked the Tony and Olivier award-winning actor was the use of the term “fruity.” It’s common knowledge that McKellen is gay, and has become a beloved and inspiring public figure in the worldwide fight for marriage equality. In his same interview with The Guardian, McKellen expressed his sympathy for other A-listers who feel pressured to keep their sexualities hidden: "It's true of A-lists all over the world – A-list priests, A-list politicians. What will other people think? Will people still vote for me? Will people come and see me act?" Specifically regarding his fellow actors, McKellen said they are pressured by their agents and those around them to keep quiet in order to not get “pigeonholed” in their careers. Sir Ian, however, thinks it shouldn’t matter as much as it does: "I don't think the audience gives a damn … You don't have to be straight to play Gandalf. Anyway, who says that Gandalf isn't gay? I loved it when JK Rowling said that Dumbledore was gay." McKellen has been advised by the Foreign Office to simply avoid going to Russia because of its harsh laws against homosexuality. "[The UK government] couldn't protect me from those laws. Two and a half hours from London! In the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev, Rudolf Nureyev – gay artists whose sexuality informed their work…Imagine trying to be a gay actor, a gay anything in modern Russia? Where to be positively oneself, to be affectionate in public with someone you love of the same gender, or to talk of that love in the hearing of anyone under 18, will put you prison?" Fans can see Sir Ian Mckellen in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug when it hits theaters in the US this Friday. As for Damian Lewis, the season finale of Homeland will air this Sunday on Showtime at 9 PM. http://www.Twitter.com/PopWrapped https://pop-wrapped.tumblr.com http://www.SoundCloud.com/PopWrapped http://www.Facebook.com/PopWrapped http://www.Instagram.com/PopWrapped http://www.Pinterest.com/PopWrapped http://www.YouTube.com/PopWrapped https://pop-wrapped.wordpress.com http://www.PopWrapped.com

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