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Actor Ian McKellen is responding to Homeland star Damian Lewis’ comments about him from an October interview, and he isn’t taking them lying down.
McKellen, best known for playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises, slammed Lewis for his comments to The Guardian, in which he talked about his concern in taking is career to the left level back in his early days doing stage acting.
In a dig to McKellen, he said he feared being “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 I was 50 and then start playing wizards."
About a month later, McKellen has responded in an interview with Radio Times, Daily News reports.
"So he feels sorry for me, does he?" he asked, adding, "Well I'm very happy, he needn't worry about me."
“To rebut it: 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," he 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."
McKellen continued, “To be allowed for the first time in your later career to play leading parts in extremely popular movies is not a situation to worry about. No-one needs to feel sorry for me or Michael Gambon (who played Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies) or anyone else who has fallen victim to success."
The actor, 74, who came out at the age of 49, went on to acknowledge Lewis’ “fruity actor” jab.
"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," he said.
image: Wikimedia Commons