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Sir Ian McKellen Talks Stonewall, Drag Queens, and Taylor Swift

Sir Ian McKellen Talks Stonewall, Drag Queens, and Taylor Swift

Photo via Instagram/cookson11

The gay icon was a grand marshall at Manchester Pride, and he was having a good time. 

It's been a big year for Sir Ian McKellen, between Mr. Holmes, Viscious, and serving as grand marshal first for NYC Pride and then, most recently, for Manchester Pride. From the pictures, it certainly looked like he was having a good time, locking lips with guys lining the parade route and posing with totes he designed for Gay Star News. The levity clearly carried throughout the festivities, as he gave a playful interview to the British LGBT media site. Here's some of what he had to say:

Do you have a close knit set of gay friends?
A lot of them are gay, but not all. I do notice, when I have 10 people round for dinner or something, I look and think 'They're all gay!' Or 'There's a straight person, how are they going to get on?' Or I don't have enough women. It can be difficult to balance it out. But I don't have any friends who aren't totally at ease with gay people. My favorite group is straight men who are gay-friendly. I find that very attractive.

How does it feel to be part of Taylor Swift's 'squad'?
I'm not. When I was living in Peter Jackson's apartment in New York, Taylor Swift bought it while I was there and I was thrown out before I wanted to leave! That hardly puts me in Taylor Swift's team, does it? You look shocked.

We are shocked!
[Laughs] She bought it, she had every right to - I was just lodging there for free! She did ask me to appear with Patrick Stewart at her show in LA, but I had something else to do that night.

Are you looking forward to the new Stonewall film?
I've heard a little bit about it. I haven't seen it. I would like to know more about what actually happened. I've heard the stories and I visited the Stonewall Inn for the first time very recently. One of the barmen was there the night of the riots. But I know there's some disagreement with the representation of the principal players. Have you seen it?

No. We've seen the trailer. So far, the accusations of whitewashing have been directed at the trailer rather than the film. No one has seen the film yet.
It's a bit early to criticize then. I know enough about trailers to know they're not necessarily representative of the film. No one is likely to have made a film about the Stonewall Riots in order to distort the story. But they may have had to do certain casting to get the film made. The Harvey Milk film [Milk, 2008] was romanticized. It was wonderful. I loved Pride [2014], that was romanticized, fictionalized. I suppose they were more attractive looking people in the film than were there in life. Does that matter?

Would you do drag now?
It's never really interested [me]. I'm the sort of gay man who likes to wear trousers. When I'm in drag I look too alarmingly like my sister, and I don't think that's fair on her!

Read the full interview on Gay Star News.

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