Sir Ian McKellen Says He Regrets Not Coming Out of the Closet ''Much Earlier''

Actor spoke about his decision to be open about his sexuality

By Lily Harrison Jun 04, 2015 12:07 AMTags
Ian McKellenTarget Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images

Sir Ian McKellen has one regret.

In an interview with Huffington Post, the 76-year-old actor opened up about his experience with coming out of the closet to family and friends and admits the one thing he would change if he could do it all over again.

"I regret and always shall that I didn't see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one," he explained.

"Self-confidence is the most important thing that anybody can have. You don't have that if part of you is ashamed or hiding something. I can reassure people who don't feel they're able to, the world will like you better because people like honesty and authenticity."

McKellen added that he felt much "freer" after coming out as gay, and that his family didn't "give a damn" about his sexuality.

"I think up to that point, I had been using acting as a disguise—somewhere where I could express my emotions, and draw attention to myself in a way that I didn't particularly want to do in real life," the star further shared.

"Acting became not about disguise, but about telling the truth. And my emotions became much freer. I was able to act better as I think you are able to do any job. Everyone's better if they're being honest.

McKellen is currently set to receive the Trevor Project's Trevor Hero Award and will serve as one of four Grand Marshals in this month's New York City Pride celebration.