Sir Ian McKellen has called on gay actors to come out of the closet, urging them to “open that door – fling it wide and be yourself.”
McKellen (76) told The Hollywood Reporter that it was only after he came out that his career truly kicked off. “It all happened after coming out,” he said.
“I had no idea this silly thing was a weight on my shoulders. That’s my message to anyone in this town who thinks, ‘I’ve got to stay in the closet to be successful in films,’ I didn’t.’
The Lord of the Rings actor addressed gay actors who are still in the closet – and urged them to come out, saying that a successful acting career is not worth being unhappy in your personal life.
“Do you want to be a famous movie star who has love scenes with ladies and in private be an unhappy gay? There’s no choice. Forget the career, dear. Go and do something else… A closet’s a really nasty place to live, you know? It’s dirty, it’s dusty, it’s full of skeletons. You don’t want it. Open that door – fling it wide and be yourself.”
Ian McKellen has always been open about his sexuality to fellow actors, but it wasn’t until 1988 that he came out to the general public.
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