Out British actor Sir Ian McKellen says that being open about his sexuality cost him a role in 1983.

McKellen is the subject of the new documentary McKellen: Playing the Part.

Speaking with Time Out London, McKellen, who came out publicly in 1988, was asked his thoughts on why “there are so few gay characters in blockbusters?”

“Well, nobody looks to Hollywood for social commentary, do they?” McKellen answered. “They only recently discovered that there were black people in the world. Hollywood has mistreated women in every possible way throughout its history. Gay men don’t exist. Gods and Monsters [1998], I think, was the beginning of Hollywood admitting that there were gay people knocking around, even though half of Hollywood is gay.”

“Did coming out ever cost you any roles?”

“One. Harold Pinter wanted me to be in a film of his [1983’s Betrayal] and he took me to meet the producer, Sam Spiegel. We sat in Spiegel’s office and I happened to say that I was going to New York. He said, 'Will you be taking the family?' And I said, 'I don’t have a family, I’m gay.' I think it was the first time I came out to anyone. Well, I was out of that office in two minutes. It took Pinter 25 years to apologize for not sticking up for me. But young actors in London now have all been out for years. That’s the future,” McKellen said.