Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi, the stars of ITV's Vicious, discuss gay rights in a new The Daily Mail interview.

Vicious, which returns for a second season in the UK on June 1, looks at the lives of elderly gay couple Freddie (played by McKellen of the X-Men series), a retired actor, and Stuart (Jacobi; I, Claudius), a former barman. Freddie and Stuart have a love/hate relationship which has lasted nearly 50 years.

Jacobi told the paper that he came out to his mother while attending university, and asked her not to tell his father.

“She said, 'All young men go through this phase. Don't worry,'” Jacobi said. “I think she did [tell], but I don't know. But they were wonderful, my parents, not much was said but they kind of knew, they got it.”

McKellen remembers traveling to the United States, where he was asked upon entry whether he was gay.

“One of the reasons I became an actor was that you could meet gay people. Even then everything was difficult. When you went to America they asked, 'Are you now, or have you ever been, homosexual?' I lied on the form. It was a different world,” he said.