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Damian Lewis ‘hugely embarrassed’ over Ian McKellen ‘fruity’ slur

Homeland actor said his comments about not wanting to be a 'fruity' actor who only became famous playing wizards was never meant to be in reference to Sir Ian McKellen
Homeland actor Damian Lewis says he is 'hugely embarrassed' his comments over not wanting to be a 'fruity' actor was taken to be in reference to Sir Ian McKellen.

Homeland actor Damian Lewis has said he is ‘hugely embarrassed’ after his comments saying he did not want to end up a ‘fruity actor’ was linked to Sir Ian McKellen.

Speaking in The Guardian a couple of weeks ago, Lewis said he was worried about getting out of theater in his 20s.

‘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.’

While he did not name names, this was largely taken as a reference to McKellen who began to find worldwide success when he starred in Lord Of The Rings as Gandalf.

McKellen hit back with a response in the Radio Times, saying ‘no one needs to feel sorry for me’.

Lewis has now issued a statement, saying: ‘I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen.

‘I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian's.

‘He's one of the greats and one of the reasons I became an actor. My comment in the Guardian was a soundbite I've been giving since 1999 - it was a generic analogy that was never intended to demean or describe anyone else's career.

‘I have contacted Sir Ian McKellen and have given him my sincerest apologies.’

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