‘Hobbit’ Star Ian McKellen Won’t Travel to Russia Due to Anti-Gay Law

Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug

'Who says that Gandalf isn't gay?' McKellen says

LONDON — Gandalf may be willing to travel to the most dangerous corners of Middle Earth to fight evil, but Ian McKellen, the actor who plays him, won’t go to Russia.

McKellen, the star of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films, said he was advised “not to go to Russia” by the U.K. government’s foreign affair department because of the country’s anti-gay laws.

“That’s why I can’t go… they couldn’t protect me from those laws,” McKellen told the Radio Times magazine. “Two and a half hours from London! In the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev, Rudolf Nureyev — gay artists whose sexuality informed their work.”

Russia passed a law in June that outlaws the provision of information about homosexuality to people under 18.

McKellen, who came out as being gay at the age of 49, has campaigned against homophobia in the past.

He said he had sympathy for gay, A-list thesps who keep their sexuality a secret.

“It’s true of A-lists all over the world — A-list priests, A-list politicians. What will other people think? Will people still vote for me? Will people come and see me act?

“They’re warned by the people who surround them — agents and managers, who have a living to make and are worried that the actor will get pigeonholed.

“I don’t think the audience gives a damn. You don’t have to be straight to play Gandalf. Anyway, who says that Gandalf isn’t gay? I loved it when J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore was gay.”

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  1. Ivan the Not-so-terrible says:

    That damned russian law isn’t against INFORMATION! It’s against PROPAGANDA. Feel the difference. We, common russians, have no hate against gay persons, as we don’t have nuclear reactors, bears and balalaikas at home. At least no more then in any other country around Europe. We do hate when somebody try ANY type of propaganda against us. We do hate it deep in our minds because of decades of that filth in our history in XXth century. So, gay propaganda or anti-gay propaganda or – i dunno – pink flying pony propaganda – is still a PROPAGANDA. Deal with it.
    P.S.: Ian McKellen is the best))

    • John Shea says:

      One persons ‘propaganda’ is another’s information. Knowing facts about homosexuality won’t make someone gay any more than knowing about heterosexuality will make them hetero.

  2. arwenevens says:

    Yes! I rather my favorite wizard stay safe. Russian IS a totalitarian state.

  3. Yes, I rather my favorite wizard stay safe. Russia IS a totalitarian state.

  4. I hope the entire production pulls out of Russia. The country needs to know that this kind of law is absurd and hurtful. Bravo Sir Ian McKellen for continuing to give voice to what is right. (Not to mention being a brilliant actor. We are so lucky to have him.)

  5. big daddy D says:

    Sir Ian mckellen is a brilliant actor and a great spokesman for the LGBT community.

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