Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Ian McKellen: Fruity

Sir Ian McKellen has hit back at Damian Lewis after the Homeland star said he did not want to end up a "fruity actor" known for playing wizards.

McKellen, who reprises his role as Gandalf in the Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug, said "no one needs to feel sorry for me" after Lewis alluded to his career as one of the reasons why he wanted to break out of the theatre.

Lewis, in a Guardian interview in October, said he worried in his 20s that he would be "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".

"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 was forthright in his response but, like Lewis, declined to name names. "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 told the Radio Times.

He added: "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."

McKellen, who described Lewis's remarks as "fair comment", said: "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 Guardian.

Update: Lewis says sorry.

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