Appearing Monday on HuffPost Live, British actor Ian McKellen said that his life improved after he came out gay in the 80s.

McKellen, who is best known for playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films, publicly announced he's gay in 1988. He currently shares the role of Sherlock Holmes with Nicholas Rowe in the film Mr. Holmes.

When HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps asked McKellen to describe how he uses social media, he answered that it has led to “relationships with like-minded people who didn't speak the same language as I did, weren't my age, and who I would never meet.”

He added that he keeps his personal life private by saying that he's gay but not discussing whom he sleeps with.

On coming out, McKellen said: “It was the best thing I ever did in my life, as every gay person will tell you. I grew up overnight and I was born again. Everything went better.”