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Ian McKellen wishes he came out to his dad about being gay

Ian McKellen wishes he came out to his dad about being gay
British actor Ian McKellen attends the Evening Standard Theatre awards in London, in this on Nov 30, 2014.
PHOTO: Reuters

Sir Ian McKellen wishes he told his dad he was gay.

The Lord of the Rings star - who came out publicly in a BBC radio interview in 1988 - never shared with his father Dennis the truth about his sexuality.

During the BBC Two programme Amol Rajan Interviews on Thursday evening (March 3), Amol asked if the 82-year-old actor had "the conversation you needed to have with your father Dennis before he died," to which, Ian replied: "No, I didn't talk about being gay."

However, the Stonewall co-founder was "glad" that his father was able to see him perform in A Scent of Flowers, his West End debut, just weeks before he passed away in a tragic accident in 1964.

Ian said: He'd been to see me in my first show in the West End, I'm always glad of that. And three weeks later in a car crash he'd died."

The Academy Award winner finds it "inconceivable" that his father would have taken any issue with him being gay.

He said: "The idea that he couldn't have coped with the fact that his son was gay is inconceivable to me, even though I'm not aware that we had any gay friends or that he'd ever thought about it or that it had any impact on his life. Therefore it might have come as some sort of surprise to him, but there would have been no moral judgement."

When Amol wondered if Dennis would have accepted him, he replied, "Yes"

The BBC Media Editor then added: "He would have loved you for who you are."

Ian said: "As my sister did," speaking of his older sister, Jean - five years his senior - who died in 2003, and wished he had told her "years" before he did about being gay.

He said: "When I came out to my sister, she said, "Oh I wish you'd told me years ago because I always wanted to talk to you about it."

Last year, Ian shared that he felt coming out improved his acting, saying it made "everything better".

He said: "It changes your life utterly. I discovered myself and everything was better. My relationships with my family, with friends, with strangers and my work got better as I wasn't hiding anymore."

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