Ian McKellen | News | Television | Theatre

Ian McKellen: Please Don't Call Me 'Sir' or 'Dumbledore'

Said Ian McKellen at an appearance at the Television Critics Association for King Lear, which comes to PBS on March 25:

Mckellen_gandalf"It's a great honor when you're plucked out and given a medal. I know in the States, you're not as fond of medals as most democracies are....It just happens that this one involves a title. And at times, it warms the cockles of my heart because it puts me nominally in the company of people I grew up idolizing: Sir Lawrence and Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir Alec Guinness, all these people, Sir Michael Redgrave, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Dame Edith Evans. And suddenly, oh, it's Sir Ian McKellen. But my name remains Ian McKellen. And that's my professional name. I'm forever going around, as I did this morning, saying, 'Please don't call me Sir because that's not really my name.' ... They often say, "Hi, Dumbledore,' and I say, 'No, no, that's Mike Gambon. I play the real wizard — the best wizard.' Of course, there's a confusion because Ms. Rowling has announced that Dumbledore is gay, hasn't she? So maybe that's the confusion. Whether Gandalf was gay is another matter. His wife is never mentioned, and he's 7,000 years old. He must have had some experience with sex."

Mckellen_learPBS plans to cut McKellen's full frontal nude scene from its broadcast. Of that, McKellen said:

"It doesn’t matter. Every night, when I take my clothes off, you know what I used to do? Pull in my stomach. That’s pathetic. I was playing an old man. I should have let it all hang out, and I couldn’t do that. You know, I’m in two minds about it and I think it’s perfectly all right. After all, there were some places — I think Singapore was one — where it was not allowed for me to take my clothes off completely. It was all right to have a blinding on the stage, someone’s eyes removed, but it was inappropriate to show a penis. Well, I think it’s a bit ridiculous myself."

AfterElton has more on goings-on at the TCA.

While he was in Singapore playing Lear in July 2007, he recorded a video for gays in Singapore in support of the repeal of that country's repressive laws against homosexuality. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously Repressed Singapore Tells Ian McKellen: Don't Get Naked [tr]
Ian McKellen Creates Video Message to Gays in Singapore [tr]

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  1. I think the man has a marvelous attitude and I love that he speaks his mind without hesitation.

    Posted by: sparks | Jan 8, 2009 7:31:43 PM

  2. I'm glad there will be no nudity. Ian dropped trowel in King Lear and the gasps were heard throughout the theatre. He's huge. Even from the balcony seats.

    Posted by: Sam Bradford | Jan 8, 2009 8:26:39 PM

  3. Love him!

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jan 8, 2009 9:14:21 PM

  4. I can think of very few people who deserve a title of honor that Mr. McKellen. We are so fortunate to have him grace our stages, screens AND magazines with his brilliant performances and his equally honest and, yes, brave opinions in this cynical, celebrity-driven world.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 8, 2009 10:01:21 PM

  5. Ironically, the title on his official website is "*Sir* Ian McKellen Official Home Page"

    Posted by: c | Jan 8, 2009 10:07:52 PM

  6. Can I call him Magneto?

    Posted by: Leo | Jan 8, 2009 11:59:18 PM

  7. Awesoome

    Posted by: Zo | Jan 9, 2009 1:12:12 AM

  8. Well then, in the interest of prurience, where's the picture of his boytoy?

    Posted by: Bading | Jan 9, 2009 1:30:58 AM

  9. As long as he returns for the Hobbit, I'll call him anything he likes.

    Posted by: terry | Jan 9, 2009 3:10:00 AM

  10. hahaha i was living a lie! he´s not dumbledore

    Posted by: Francisco | Jan 9, 2009 1:36:34 PM

  11. No, sir, i beg to disagree. Dumbledore WAS and always BEEN the best wizard!

    Posted by: vic | May 22, 2012 4:14:14 AM

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