In a recent It Got Better video, British actor Ian McKellen says coming out publicly made everything better.

McKellen, 77, is best known for playing Gandalf in the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films. He came out in 1988.

In the nearly 9-minute video, McKellen says he realized he was gay in his early teens.

He said that to publicly come out earlier than he did would have jeopardized his career.

“[Being closeted] didn't stop me [from] enjoying my life and having fulfilling relationships with other people, because in my circle there was no secrecy. And I started relationships and lived with other men quite openly,” McKellen said.

McKellen said that coming out publicly changed his life “totally for the better.”

“My relationships with my family were better. I was a better son. I was a better brother. I was a better uncle. I was a better friend,” McKellen said. “Everything was better.”