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. His performances in
Gods and Monsters and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship
of the Ring earned him Oscar nominations. He came out in 1988.
In an upcoming BBC episode of Who Do
You Think You Are? McKellen explores his family tree.
“I don't feel anything about
[fatherhood], really,” he
Irish Examiner. “I think I've always known I wouldn't have
children, because I'm gay. That wouldn't have been true today, would
“I don't feel I've got a
responsibility to produce another McKellen. … My contribution has
been of another sort.”
“Bringing up children is the most
dreadfully difficult thing to do, and so few people are good at it.
I’m far too selfish. I mean, I know parenthood can change people’s
personalities in a good way. But I find it difficult making decisions
about my own life.”
“To have to make decisions about
someone who’s dependent on you… I can see it would be very
alluring to look into the eyes of a little boy or girl who looked
like oneself. That must be extraordinary, and reassuring in some way.
But I don’t look to my legacy, I suppose that’s what makes me
different from a lot of people,” McKellen added.