Ian McKellen doesn’t want to be known as an award-winning actor, but as someone who fought for the progress of gay and lesbian rights worldwide.
The Golden Globe winning actor said in “McKellen: Playing the Part” that he would rather be remembered for his work off the screen then his work on it, according to LOGO’s NewNowNext.
McKellen was a major player in helping get the United Kingdom’s Section 28 repealed, a 1986 law about the promotion of LGBT concepts in schools and by government, as well as marriage equality.
“I’m very proud of my small contributions to changing the law in this country and changing attitudes, all for the better,” he said to the Hollywood Reporter. “And I suppose in the scheme of things that is more important and the more merit and longer lasting than any acting that I have done.”
McKellen also said that he doesn’t necessarily feel like he paved the way for other gay actors to come out.
“So an interdependence is what you discover, and I wouldn’t put myself above anybody else in the hierarchy of activism; you do what you can,” he said. “If you are in the public eye, of course it gets noticed. But it’s the brave person who goes into the factory or the school one day where they work and says, ‘I’m gay’ -- because they are dealing with it on their own.”