Earlier in the week actor Damian Lewis told a reporter that he was glad he got out of theater early and escaped becoming "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.”
Though not mentioned by name, Sir Ian McKellen determined that he resembled that remark, and issued a searing, wizard-worthy takedown of the Homeland actor.
Lewis issued a statement on Wednesday in response:
"I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen. I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian's. He's one of the greats and one of the reasons I became an actor. My comment in the Guardian was a soundbite I've been giving since 1999 – it was a generic analogy that was never intended to demean or describe anyone else's career. I have contacted Sir Ian McKellen and have given him my sincerest apologies."
McKellen accepted the apology on Twitter, writing:
"There was no need for @Lewis_Damian to apologise to me, as I thought his comments were fair. But he's a gentleman…Now I hope @lewis_damian enjoys @TheHobbitMovie DOS as much as I enjoy @SHO_Homeland."