British actor Patrick Stewart says that supporting gay rights was “always a natural and uncomplicated choice.”

The 74-year-old Stewart discussed his longtime support of equality in an interview with gay glossy The Advocate.

“When I look back to my early career and early experience, my ease and comfort being in the company of and intimately close with gay and lesbian colleagues and friends was always, for me, the most natural, and I might even say at times appealing aspects of the life I was living,” he said. “I think this is where the theater is such an appealing world, because it embraces everything and always has. So there was never a moment where I made an intellectual choice that I would be a supporter of gay civil rights. It was always a natural and uncomplicated choice. Then later in life, as I got to know well-known activists like Ian McKellen, I was only too happy to join campaigns, march, and support in whatever way I could because it always seemed to me to be something that much too much fuss was being made about.”

Stewart and McKellen's close friendship has led to inaccurate assumptions about Stewart's sexuality, including a Guardian article last year which identified the actor as gay.

“Quite frankly, I was utterly flattered by that assumption,” Stewart, who married his third wife Sunny Ozell last year, said of the mistake. “And indeed the first contact I had was from Ian McKellen, who sent me an email saying, 'Congratulations!' And I accepted the congratulations and said, 'I think this is a very distinctive honor that I've been awarded.'”

Stewart, who is best know for his roles in Star Trek and X-Men films, can currently be seen in the film Match.