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.
Ian McKellen Quote Lists
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.