Damian apologizes

Damian Lewis
Damian Lewis

HOMELAND star Damian Lewis has issued an apology to Sir Ian McKellen after calling him a ‘fruity actor.’

The British actor admitted he was “hugely embarrassed” after former Wiganer Sir McKellen, 74, who plays the wizard Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films, responded to the comment in the Radio Times, saying “no-one needs to feel sorry for me.”

He said: “I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen. I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian’s.

“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.”

While not naming names, Damian said that in his 20s he worried that if he did not get out of the theatre in time, “I would be one of these slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn’t start getting any kind of film work until I was 50 and then start playing wizards”.