Homeland star Damian Lewis has said sorry to Sir Ian McKellen after commenting that he didn’t want to turn into a “slightly over-the-top, fruity” actor known for playing wizards.
In a statement, Lewis said: that he was “hugely embarrassed” over the comments. “I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian’s”.
He continued; “He’s one of the greats and one of the reasons I became an actor. My comment in the Guardian was a soundbite I’ve been giving since 1999 – it was a generic analogy that was never intended to demean or describe anyone else’s career.
“I have contacted Sir Ian McKellen and have given him my sincerest apologies”.
Lewis’ initial comments that didn’t name McKellen outright, were made when he was in his twenties.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Ian McKellen responding saying; “I’m very happy, he needn’t worry about me”.
He continued; “To rebut it, I wouldn’t like to have been one of those actors who hit stardom quite early on and expected it to continue and was stuck doing scripts that I didn’t particularly like just to keep the income up.”
“As for a fruity voice? Well, it may be a voice that is trained like an opera singer’s voice: to fill a large space. It is unnatural. Actors have to be heard and their voice may therefore develop a sonorous quality that they can’t quite get rid of, so you think actors are as pompous as their voice is large. I suppose Damian was thinking of that a little bit, too.
“To be allowed for the first time in your later career to play leading parts in extremely popular movies is not a situation to worry about. No one needs to feel sorry for me or Michael Gambon or anyone else who has fallen victim to success.”
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