Sir Ian McKellen is speaking out on gay rights and where he likes to hang out.

In a Blackbook interview, McKellen said anti-gay sentiment often persists even after laws have been altered.

“You can change the laws, but changing people's attitudes is another thing … prejudice is very difficult to change … that's why you have to go on talking about it. It's smart to put it in the statute books, but you can't shut up a lot of people who have misunderstandings about homosexuality,” he said.

U.S. audiences last saw McKellen, a favorite actor in his native England, in cabler AMC's recent reboot of 70s The Prisoner, in which he played 2.

On being gay, McKellen says people often don't want to face sexual reality until it personally touches them.

“People don't get it who have never met a homosexual person, or read or watch anti-gay people in the media, but when they discover that maybe their child is gay, there can be the most amazing turnaround. It means that people have to discuss the situation, and the situation is that there's no need to make life miserable for those who contribute to the community and the nation.”

“They should be embraced,” he added.

When asked where he hangs out, McKellen, the classically trained Shakespearian actor, said he likes New York's The Box on gay night, Tuesday, and the Grapes Pub in London.