Sir Ian McKellen has said he is “so happy” for Elliot Page, following the actor’s announcement that he is transgender.
The veteran actor voiced his support for Page, who he starred opposite in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand.
McKellen said he’s “so disappointed” in himself for not realising Page was struggling with their identity on set, he revealed in a new interview with Attitude.
“Everything gets better [when you come out] because you get self-confidence,” McKellen explained. The actor came out as gay to the general public in 1988.
“So you get better in terms of relationships, friends of all sorts, family, if you’re lucky,” he said. “And in my case, I think in every case, your acting is bound to change and improve.”
Recalling his experience working alongside Page on the superhero film, McKellen added: “I remember Elliot Page, in one of the X-Men, sat as close as we are now. And I had to speak when they’d finished, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Nobody could hear what they were saying.
“So, I said, ‘Look, if you can’t speak up, would you mind when you’re finished speaking, just dropping your hand so I know when you’ve finished speaking?’
Ian McKellen added: “And then they came out [as gay] years later and suddenly you couldn’t stop them talking. You heard everything.”
Commenting on Page’s announcement last December, McKellen said: “And now… they’re Elliot. And I’m so happy for Elliot. And so disappointed in myself that I didn’t detect what their difficulty was with communicating.”
Thanking fans for their support following the announcement, Elliot Page said their “love and support has been the greatest gift” while posting a selfie.