Ian McKellen shares his one regret about working with Elliot Page and why he’s ‘so happy’ for him
Gay elder, icon and actor Sir Ian McKellen is “so happy” for Elliot Page, who came out as trans last month.
McKellen, who starred alongside Page in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, added that looking back, he is “so disappointed” in himself for not having spotted that the then-teenage Page had “difficulty communicating” because they were not yet out.
Page came out as trans on 1 December, 2020, sharing that his “joy is real” and that he “loves being trans”. The actor, who made their breakthrough in Juno, thanked fans three weeks later for the “love and support” they’d shown him.
“So you get better in terms of relationships, friends of all sorts, family, if you’re lucky. And in my case, I think in every case, your acting is bound to change and improve.”
The veteran gay rights campaigner, who became one of the most high-profile gay men in the UK when he came out in 1988 in response to Margaret Thatcher’s homophobic Section 28 legislation, went on to share an anecdote about the time he and Page spent on set together.
“I remember Elliot Page, in one of the X-Men, sat as close as we are now,” McKellen said. “And I had to speak when they’d finished, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Nobody could hear what they were saying.
“So, I said, ‘Look, if you can’t speak up, would you mind when you’re finished speaking, just dropping your hand so I know when you’ve finished speaking?’
“And then they came out [as gay] years later and suddenly you couldn’t stop them talking. You heard everything.
“And now… they’re Elliot. And I’m so happy for Elliot. And so disappointed in myself that I didn’t detect what their difficulty was with communicating.”
Ian McKellen joins acting legend Annette Benning in wishing Page well.
McKellen and Page appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Days of Future Past together as Magneto and Kitty Pryde. Both films, alongside others in the X-Men franchise are available to stream on Disney+.
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