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Ian Mckellen's Quotes

Ian Mckellen profile photo

Born: 1939-05-25
Profession: Actor
Nation: English
Biography of Ian Mckellen

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Try and understand what part you have to play in the world in which you live. There's more to life than you know and it's all happening out there. Discover what part you can play and then go for it.

Tags: Life, Try, Understand

You always think that 70 is the end of the road: 'Somebody died when they were 73; good life'. You're closer to death, and you better make sure you don't waste too much of your time doing things you don't want to do. No point in saying things you don't believe in.

Tags: Good, Life, Time

If you've got Mystique as your girlfriend the fun you could have in bed - I've just imagined X-Men 3 might open with me in bed with Patrick Stewart.

Tags: Fun, Girlfriend, Might

Before acting, I wanted to become a journalist. I also toyed with the idea of being a chef - but that's only when people asked me what I wanted to be. In fact, I always used to say I wanted to be an actor, but I didn't ever believe that I was good enough to be come one.

Tags: Become, Enough, Good

Acting is a very personal process. It has to do with expressing your own personality, and discovering the character you're playing through your own experience - so we're all different.

Tags: Acting, Character, Experience

I can't take on all the worries of the world, you know. I can only talk about being gay and being an actor. I'll have to leave those other battles to somebody else.

Tags: Else, Gay, Talk

I don't make much distinction between being a stand-up comic and acting Shakespeare - in fact, unless you're a good comedian, you're never going to be able to play Hamlet properly.

Tags: Acting, Between, Good

If I was on a march at the moment I would be saying to everyone: 'Be honest with each other. Admit there are limitless possibilities in relationships, and love as many people as you can in whatever way you want, and get rid of your inhibitions, and we'll all be happy.

Tags: Happy, Love, Saying

I was brought up in industrial south Lancashire, down the cobbled road from where LS Lowry (1887-1976) lived and painted.

Tags: Lived, Road, South

It was wrongly assumed that I wished to become some sort of leader among gay activists, whereas in reality I was happier to be a foot soldier.

Tags: Gay, Reality, Soldier

There's no sex in Middle Earth.

Tags: Earth, Middle, Sex

Godot is whatever it is in life that you are waiting for: 'I'm waiting to win the lottery. I'm waiting to fall in love'. For me, as a child, it was Christmas. At least that eventually came.

Tags: Life, Love

I headed out to have a breather at the stage door, dressed in my tramp costume. I had my bowler hat between my feet and there were passers-by, and one of them turned back and said, 'Do you need help, brother?' And $1 fell into my hat!

Tags: Between, Help, Said

I tend to discourage people from calling me 'Sir Ian,' because I don't like being separated out from the rest of the population. Of course, it can be useful if you're writing an official letter, like trying to get a visa or something passed through Parliament. They're impressed by these things.

Tags: Rest, Trying, Writing

I think the point to be understood is that we're all different. I've never been a fan of theories of acting. I didn't go to drama school, so I was never put through a training that was limited by someone saying, 'This is the way you should act.'

Tags: Saying, School, Someone

It's only fair that stable gay relationships of long standing should have the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. I know the image of gay marriage is to some people horrific and ludicrous.

Tags: Gay, Marriage, Married

Macbeth is a very popular play with audiences. If you want to sell out a theater, just mount a production of Macbeth. It's a short play, it's an exciting play, it's easy to understand, and it attracts great acting.

Tags: Great, Short, Understand

Personally, coming out was one of the most important things I've ever done, lifting from my shoulders the millstone of lies that I hadn't even realized I was carrying.

Tags: Coming, Done, Lies

So it's joyful to me, in my 71st year, to be able to be in a play that is absolutely right for my age and my experience, and that is a popular success. What more could you ask as an actor?

Tags: Age, Experience, Success

That was the big effect Lord of the Rings had on me. It was discovering New Zealand. And even more precious were the people- not at all like the Australians.

Tags: Big, Lord, Precious

The thing you notice here after America is how refreshingly ordinary people look because they haven't had their chin wrapped around the back of their ears.

Tags: After, America, Here

There are not many things in my life I can be absolutely proud of or certain I got right, but one of them is that I've got better as an actor. I've learnt how to do it. And I still have enough energy to do it.

Tags: Energy, Enough, Life

When we'd suggested doing it, the Theatre Royal management had said, 'Nobody wants to see Waiting for Godot.' As it happened, every single ticket was booked for every single performance, and this confirmation that our judgment was right was sweet. Audiences came to us from all over the world. It was amazing.

Tags: Amazing, Single, Waiting

When you were on stage, you could be absolutely open about your emotions and indulge them and express yourself in a way that - in real life - I wasn't doing.

Tags: Life, Real, Yourself