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Ian McKellen returned £1million advance after finding writing memoir too 'painful'

2016-04-04
Ian McKellen has revealed that he returned a £1 million advance for his memoirs, after he found it too difficult to delve into his past. Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival, the 76 year old actor revealed he had set aside nine months to work on the memoir for Hodder & Stoughton, but soon realised he couldn't go through with the task.
"I put nine months aside to do it, and I got a very handsome advance," he said. "Then I sent the money back."
The Times reports him as saying: "It was a bit painful - I didn't want to go back into my life and imagine things that I hadn't understood so far. Frankly, if anybody wants to know anything about my public life, my working life, my career, it's all catalogued in greater detail on my website than could ever be put into a book."
McKellen implied he wasn't comfortable with disclosing details from his private life in the book.
"The privacy of my life I don't quite understand myself, and it has nothing to do with what I do for a living. So there you go - I'm sorry." Sir Ian McKellen leads the parade
He also spoke about his first love, whom he claimed he met while acting in Oxford at the beginning of his career.
"It was actually in this town that I was acting with some undergraduates and I fell in love with one of them," he revealed. "So Oxford is a very special place for me. It was the first person I felt attached to in that way." Speaking to Owen Jones just last month, McKellen did speak about his experience of growing up gay. He said he was “deeply closeted, unable to talk to my parents about it." The much loved Shakespearean actor first came out publicly in 1988.
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