100+ Ian McKellen Quotes That Will Really Inspire You

Ian McKellen best quotes

Ian McKellen quotes that will really inspire you. There are so many Ian McKellen quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration, a smile on the face, change of mood, bring you out of the banality of life, make you laugh a little, or may even make you cry a bit, and these Ian McKellen quotes exists just do that.

Ian McKellen is a very famous English actor. Ian McKellen’s career has spanned genres from modern theatre and Shakespearean to popular fantasy and also science fiction. Ian McKellen has earned six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a BIF Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, four Drama Desk Awards, two Saturn Awards, and also two Critics’ Choice Awards. Ian McKellen has earned nominations for five Primetime Emmy Awards, four BAFTAs and two Academy Awards. Ian McKellen had earned worldwide fame for his movie roles Gods and Monsters (1998), King in Richard III (1995), X-Men movies, The Hobbit trilogies and The Lord of the Rings.

BBC has said that Ian McKellen’s “performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors”. Ian McKellen has earned every major theatrical award in the UK, and he has been regarded as a British cultural icon. Ian McKellen had begun his professional career in the year, 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre and had been a member of the repertory company. In the year, 1965, Ian McKellen had made his very first West End appearance. In the year, 1969, Ian McKellen had been invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company and played the lead roles in Shakespeare’s Richard II and also, Marlowe’s Edward II.

We have dug up these Ian McKellen quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of Ian McKellen Sayings in a single place. These famous Ian McKellen quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular Ian McKellen quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of Ian McKellen quotes that will open a treasure chest of Wisdom and experiences:

“Every anti-gay remark from the Church gives the thug a license to be cruel.”

Ian McKellen best quotes

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“Actors don’t, in fact, retire, do they? It took me a while to remember that.”

Ian McKellen famous quotes

“Gandalf is ever-present in my life. I like it.”

Ian McKellen popular quotes

“Bolton School has a great tradition in the liberal arts.”

Ian McKellen quotes “Gandalf saves the world and saves the soul of the world, really.”

Ian McKellen saying

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“Acting is a very big part of what human beings do. A dog is always a dog, but we’re always changing.”

“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.”

“Anyone in public life who comes out, comes out primarily for themselves, and their life is immediately improved. That’s what happened to me.”

“Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work.”

“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.”

“Bill Gallagher’s new version of ‘The Prisoner’ is an enthralling commentary on modern culture. It is witty, intelligent and disturbing. I am very excited to be involved.”

“Capitalism offers you freedom, but far from giving people freedom, it enslaves them.”

“Doing some of the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ press junkets got a bit claustrophobic.”

“Even now, there are young actors who want careers as romantic leading men, and the best thing is not to reveal you’re gay.”

“Eventually, before I die, I hope to have written about every part I’ve played.”

“Every time you work is a challenge. There’s a constant worry about it, and it’s a side of acting I don’t like.”

“Gandalf is in Middle-earth to keep an eye on everybody, and that can be a rather serious matter.”

“Gandalf the Grey was always the guy I prefer. Gandalf the White was driven to do a particular job, whereas Gandalf the Grey is a bit more humane.”

“Gandalf’s a good guy, and it’s a good part. He says the right things, he believes the right things. An actor can have fun with it.”

“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.”

“How do I act so well? What I do is I pretend to be the person I’m portraying in the film or play.”

“I always walk up the escalator on the Tube, and I live in a house with a lot of stairs, and that’s good exercise, but you need more than that.”

“I am lucky, I don’t have aches and pains. I do Pilates regularly, which is a series of stretching exercises, and I recommend it to anyone of my age because the temptation is not to exercise when you get older. Well, you should.”

“I can’t make up my mind whether I want to dance like Josef Brown or dance with Josef Brown.”

“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 certainly don’t disparage someone whose attitude towards their work is utterly different from mine – that’s up to them.”

“I don’t have Gandalf the White’s certainty about everything.”

“I don’t make any distinction between a popular TV series or blockbuster film and doing Shakespeare. They’re different, but as long as the material is good and the intention is honourable, it’s all the same to me.”

“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.”

“I don’t really like being with people my own age for long periods, because all we talk about is our decrepitude, how the world is changing for the worse even though it isn’t.”

“I don’t think many people will re-read ‘The Da Vinci Code.'”

“I got better as an actor, and still I’m getting better. That’s only been possible because there’s always been work.”

“I have got prostate cancer, and I have to keep monitoring that. It’s no problem, it’s under control and I’m very cool about it, but other people are dying from it.”

“I have heard of people dying from prostate cancer, and they are the unlucky ones, the people who didn’t know they had got it, and it went on the rampage.”

“I have lots of fans, they are mostly under the age of 12, boys and girls.”

“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 just followed my parents’ example and advice on living, which was to leave the world a better place than you found it. They were professional do-gooders, ministers of the church, social workers, teachers, and missionaries, that sort of thing.”

“I learned that coming out was crucial to self-esteem.”

“I love musicals; I love the ballet, opera, the circus. It’s all performance to me.”

“I often get mistaken for Dumbledore. One wizard is very much like another.”

“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.”

“I think I’ve become more modest as the years have gone on.”

“I think New York audiences are some of the brightest in the world, and certainly the most enthusiastic.”

“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.'”

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“I used to comfort myself when I became an actor that it was a useful job, entertaining people. And it was important to do it as well as you possibly can.”

“I used to think ‘King Lear’ was an analysis of insanity, but I don’t really think it is. When Lear is supposed to be at his most insane, he is actually understanding the world for the first time.”

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

“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.”

“If you get criticized, good – I don’t think people get criticized enough. People talk behind your back and they criticize you, but they don’t often come up and say it to you.”

“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.”

“I’m brilliant at cooking my stepmother’s scrambled egg recipe. The secret is to put eggs, butter, milk, and seasoning together in the saucepan, and to keep stirring with a wooden spoon under a low heat until the preferred consistency is reached.”

“I’m fortunate to be famous for two rather imposing characters like Magneto and Gandalf.”

“I’m not quite as cool as I would like to be, really.”

“I’m only an actor. I’m not a writer. I’m not going to leave any legacy. All I’ve ever done is learn the lines and say them.”

“In any human-rights campaign, everybody must do what they can.”

“In the ’50s and ’60s, the life of a gay man was a secret. Homosexuality was illegal, so you didn’t draw attention to yourself.”

“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.”

“It’s an interesting but useless bit of information that every single character in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ wears a wig, and many of them wears a prosthetic – false ears, feet, hands. In my case, nose.”

“It’s my impression that I’ve done every job that I’ve been asked to do.”

“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.”

“I’ve always felt that ‘X-Men’ was about something serious. It wasn’t just fantasy.”

“I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying, ‘This is fiction.'”

“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.”

“Most actors are not rich – they are very poor indeed. What keeps them going is that they just love the job.”

“My ambition is to get better as an actor.”

“People who are truly horrible are often the most interesting people in the room. You look at them and just say, ‘Why?'”

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“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.”

“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?”

“Splendid architecture, the love of your life, an old friend… they can all go drifting by unseen if youre not careful.”

“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.”

“The battle going on over gay marriage in America reveals an awful lot. The Bible belt – people hate gay people. Because the Bible tells them? No, the Bible tells them an awful lot of things that they ignore.”

“The conventional wisdom is that if you are gay, you cannot play the romantic straight lead in a movie.”

“The most likely explanation is the most practical. ‘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.”

“The one thing you can ask, I think, is that actors get paid a living wage. I would like it if all the repertory theatres that currently exist could do that. It would make a huge difference.”

“The strength of British theatre should be that these actors in their middle years know what they’re doing and are good at it. Not rich, not famous, but making a living.”

“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.”

“The wonderful thing about modern medicine is that so many of these complaints that used to signify old age and decline can be coped with.”

“Theatre is relatively easy if you’re British – you’re living in the theatre capital of the world, London – there are so many places you can work, still. If I had begun to think of myself as a film actor, I think I would have got distracted.”

“There are deaths in public places on the grounds that the victim is gay.”

“There are some fantastic parts for older actors.”

“There is a fantasy as old as the modern gay rights movement that if all our skins turned lavender overnight, the majority, confounded by our numbers and our diversity, and recognising a few of our faces, would at once let go of prejudice forevermore.”

“There’s lots of Tolkien that must be confusing to people.”

“Tony Blair is not a villain, but he’s played the part very well.”

“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.”

“Until I came out, my acting was all about disguise, and thereafter it became about telling the truth.”

“We’re very lucky, men, that there are these fabulous parts. Women – once you’ve done all the parts in Shakespeare, they start running out. So you can pick and choose and find something to energise you.”

“What I particularly like about Broadway is the camaraderie and the friendship of other people in other shows. Everybody knows you’re opening and cares about you. There’s a real village atmosphere.”

“What’s nice for me, having identified myself for years as being rather shy, is now, wherever I am, in public, there tends to be a friendly face who’s pleased to see me, and I like that.”

“What’s upsetting about an autobiography is that the final chapter is always missing. I mean, you want the death, don’t you?”

“When I came out, I told my stepmother Gladys, and she just said she had known for years and was glad I wasn’t lying anymore.”

“When I was playing Gandalf, I didn’t think, ‘Oh my dear, I’m playing a 7,000 year old wizard,’ because I’ve never met one, and I don’t know what they’re like.”

“When I went to lobby Nelson Mandela while the post-apartheid constitution was being drafted, I asked him to endorse making it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexuality. I’d been warned that he might giggle if I mentioned homosexuality.”

“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.”

“When you grumble about a taxi being dirty, people your own age will absolutely agree with you, whereas younger people say, ‘You should be so lucky to have a taxi – I walk to work!’ So I have lots of young friends, who fortunately don’t treat me as a guru, a person that knows all the answers.”

“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.”

“Why do you act? You act for an audience. In the theatre, you’re in their presence. Film stars don’t know what it is to have an audience.”

“Will I miss Gandalf? Well, I don’t miss him, because people are constantly coming up to me mentioning him and talking about him, so I don’t feel that I’ve lost contact.”

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“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.”

“You see people in Hollywood trying to make blockbuster after blockbuster, but it’s not possible. There’s some god up there saying, ‘You will fail now.’ But I suppose that’s true of us all.”

“You won’t hear me talk about my politics, you won’t hear me talk about my vegetarianism, you won’t hear me comment on the Iraq war. You’ll only hear me talk about being gay and being an actor. I am just public on those two issues.”

“I often thought my gravestone would say, ‘Here lies Gandalf. He came out,’”

“If you’re sounding right, you’re probably walking right, and vice versa. If you get the footwork right – if you get even one line right in a rehearsal, the director will say, ‘do you know when you said that, it was exactly the character. You were really landed on it.’”

“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.”

“[There’s] nothing special about an actor’s imagination, except that he uses it a lot.”

“There’s no sex in Middle Earth.”


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