Sir Ian McKellen Responds to Damian Lewis “Fruity Voice” Remark

Homeland star Damian Lewis got his start in theater, but he’s glad to have graduated to film and television roles. Otherwise he could wind up

“…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.”

Ouch. Let’s see, he’s either talking about Michael Gambon or Sir Ian McKellen. So far Dumbledore has stayed mum, but as we mentioned in Briefs yesterday, Gandalf decided to respond. Speaking to The Radio Times as reported by The Independent, McKellen had this to say:

“So he feels sorry for me, does he? Well I’m very happy, he needn’t worry about me.”

“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.”

Oh snap. Let’s not forget Lewis has been in such gems as Your Highness. And if you had to make a trade on McKellen’s lifetime body of work versus what will likely be Lewis’ lifetime achievements — it’s clear where the smart money would be.

But McKellen lets Lewis off the hook a bit for the “fruity voice” comment.

Damian Lewis

“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.”

h/t Towleroad