Sir Ian McKellen Urges Hollywood Actors To Come Out: “A Closet’s A Really Nasty Place To Live”

"Open that door — fling it wide and be yourself."

Leave it to Sir Ian McKellen to say what we’re all thinking… but with the eloquence of a knight.

Related: Sir Ian Finds Heterosexuality Too Interesting To Ignore

Likely in response to the brouhaha created last month by Matt Damon’s comments that “whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality,” McKellen spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about the need for Hollywood to come out, come out, wherever you are.

“That’s my message to anyone in this town who thinks ’I’ve got to stay in the closet to be successful in films,'” he emphasizes. “I didn’t. Do you want to be a famous movie star who has love scenes with ladies and in private be an unhappy gay? There’s no choice. Forget the career, dear. Go and do something else.”

McKellen, it should be noted, has been out of the closet since 1988 – ten years before George Michael, fifteen years before Melissa Ethridge, twenty-seven years before Joel Grey (who is seven year’s McKellen’s senior).

“A closet’s a really nasty place to live, you know? It’s dirty, it’s dusty, it’s full of skeletons. You don’t want it. Open that door — fling it wide and be yourself.”