Ian McKellen Dishes on Missionary Position, X-Men, Halle Berry and Ellen Page

Picture courtesy Gage Skidmore

Few actors are as widely respected as Ian McKellen in Hollywood. However, you may be surprised to learn that he has never won an Academy Award. However, he hopes all of that will change this year with his lead role in Mr Holmes.

On Thursday, he addressed a room full of Academy members, speaking about several of his famous roles and being gay in Hollywood.

“When I came out as a gay man, it was expected by some gay activists that my whole attitude to life would change, and I’d become a queer artists and only do things with gay themes. I said: ‘No, no.’ Heterosexuality is far too interesting a phenomenon to be ignored – and it would cut me off plays like Macbeth, Richard III and King Lear.”

His first role after coming out was in the film Scandal, which required he do a sex scene with actress Joanne Whalley.

“Not having enough experience, or indeed any experience in the sort of sex that was required in this film, I consulted my friend who actually drew some little matchstick figures of what goes on. I very quickly became an expert in the missionary position,” says McKellen.

Regarding his role as Magneto in the X-Men franchise, McKellen claims: “X-Men was a gay man’s delight, because it was full of the most amazing divas.” He became close with Halle Berry over the course of the films. “I never saw Halle in between movies, but we caught up each time as if we were brother and sister. All sorts of confessions were made on either side. We became chums.”

In the third X-Men film, X-Men: The Last Stand, Ellen Page starred in the film as well. He recalls: “The thing about Ellen was that she spoke very quietly. Now I know that’s the fashion in movies today – there’s far too much whispering going on in films. Ellen was speaking very quietly for the benefit of the camera. I thought: ‘This girl’s nervous! If she was a bit more confident, she’d be speaking a bit louder maybe.’ Lo and behold she comes out as a gay woman, and my God has she found her voice! Good on you, Ellen. From afar now, I admire her. Wherever she is, she’s got my congratulations and love.”

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Ian McKellen Dishes on Missionary Position, X-Men, Halle Berry and Ellen Page
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Ian McKellen talk about learning of the missionary position, being gay on the set of X-Men with Halle Berry, and what he thinks of Ellen Page’s coming out.
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