mckellen lewis

You probably don’t want to get on the bad side of the man who plays both Gandalf and Magneto. But Homeland‘s Damian Lewis managed to do just that.

In an interview with The Guardian in October, Lewis pointedly described how when he was in his 20s, he worried about not breaking out of the theater: “The idea that 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.”

This is probably referring to both Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, and Sir Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in most of the Harry Potter movies. Mckellen also plays Xmen‘s Magneto and is memorialized this week in a Sesame Street parody clip called, “Lord of the Crumbs.”

In an interview with The Radio Times, Sir Ian fired back: “So he feels sorry for me, does he? Well, I’m very happy, he needn’t worry about me.” McKellen added that it was a “fair comment,” but: “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.”

Addressing the “fruity voice” comment specifically, McKellen said: “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.”

And as for Lewis throwing shade at wizards, Sir Ian wasn’t having any of it: “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.”

Sir Ian refrained from adding that Homeland sucks this season, but we all know he was thinking it.

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