British actor Sir Ian McKellen discussed coming out in a recent interview with PBS personality Charlie Rose.

McKellen, 76, is best known for playing Gandalf in the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films.

In 1988, McKellen announced he was gay in the pages of Gay Times and went to work advocating against Section 28, the UK legislation that banned any positive discussion of homosexuality in schools. The legislation wasn't fully repealed until 2003.

“A law was being passed that I didn't approve of which disadvantaged gay people,” McKellen said. “And that's when I came out.”

“And it was just the right time for me, because [at] 49 I was confident as an actor, as a person. And I could organize a sentence and make a case and feel passionate about it.”

“I was in the public eye and there was a part for me to play within the gay rights movement in the UK and I loved it. I relished it,” he added.