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A 'Hugely Embarrassed' Damian Lewis Apologizes to Ian McKellen Over 'Fruity' Remark

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.”

LewisThough 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."


Sir Ian McKellen Fights Back After 'Fruity' Remark From 'Homeland' Star Damian Lewis

LewisSir Ian McKellen, one of the finest British actors of the past several decades, and an openly gay man, was recently the butt of Homeland star Damian Lewis's (right) unpleasant commentary. Lewis mentioned that after getting his start in theater, he was glad to get out early on. Otherwise, he would run the risk of 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 McKellen is not mentioned by name, Gandalf the Grey took it upon himself to offer a series of pointed and rather enlightened retorts.

The Independent reports:

The X-Men actor went on to describe Lewis’ statement as “a fair comment”, before adding: “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.

“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. It is unnatural. Actors have to be heard and their voice may therefore develop a sonorous quality that they can't quite get rid of, so you think actors are as pompous as their voice is large. I suppose Damian was thinking of that a little bit, too.”

SiriansmilesMcKellen (right) also took the time to point out the conflicted and deeply closeted position of many gay artists, and attempted to assuage their fears.

“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?

“They're warned by the people who surround them - agents and managers, who have a living to make and are worried that the actor will get pigeonholed.”

“I don't think the audience gives a damn,” he added. “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.”

And in his final deconstruction of Lewis's remarks, Sir Ian took a stance on Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws, and made sure to mention the artists whose work he will always regard highly. 

“That's why I can't go to Russia... They 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,” he said.

Check out Sir Ian McKellen, now on Broadway in Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land, and soon to be back in theaters as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.


Season 3 Trailer for 'Homeland' Arrives: VIDEO

Homeland

Typically, the new trailer for Homeland raises more questions than answers, but for those of you who have been awaiting its return, here's some fresh material to chew on before its season premiere September 29.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Season 3 Trailer for 'Homeland' Arrives: VIDEO" »


Homeland's Damian Lewis Worried He Might Have Offended Obama with a Muslim Joke: VIDEO

Lewis

President Obama is a fan of the Showtime series Homeland and wanted a box set. Actor Damian Lewis says that he was asked to sign it by the Teamsters Union who was giving it to Obama as a gift, and told UK TV host Jonathan Ross over the weekend about what he wrote.

“Claire Danes had written something lovely and sweet, saying I've been a fan of yours long before you were a fan of ours. I thought that's pretty stylish. I thought, I’ll think of something great. Something classy. And I went: ‘From one Muslim to another’  — in an indelible Sharpie. I couldn't take it back. I was then writing emails for the whole of the next week going: ‘I do hope he understands irony.’”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

For those who don't watch the show, Lewis plays a former POW Marine returned stateside who is a suspected terrorist and secretly practicing Muslim.

Continue reading "Homeland's Damian Lewis Worried He Might Have Offended Obama with a Muslim Joke: VIDEO" »


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