Tag: Ian

And this, folks, is why Ian McKellen is one of the coolest guys alive / Queerty

And this, folks, is why Ian McKellen is one of

Gods and Monsters

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.

The Hollywood Story: Gods and Monsters

Awesome? Magnificent? Captivating? Sublime? We’re not sure there’s a superlative in the English language that can do Sir Ian McKellen justice.

For proof, look no further than McKellen’s 1998 breakout performance in Gods and Monsters. Then in his late 50s, McKellen had only appeared in a handful of movies, relegating his spellbinding acting abilities to stage performances. Subsequent to the release of the film, he would score his first Oscar nomination and land the roles of Magneto and Gandalf that would cement his status as a screen legend.

But it all began with Gods and Monsters. In the film, McKellen plays Frankenstein director James Whale–a man who lived an openly gay life throughout his career in the early 20th century. By the 1950s, however, Whale’s star had faded, and a ministroke had robbed him of his creative drive. The story picks up just after Whale’s stroke, when a handsome young gardener named Clay Boone (Brendan Frasier) comes to tend to Whale’s bushes. Whale finds himself attracted to the younger man, and the two begin an oddball friendship as Boone begins posing for Whale to sketch. As Whale faces unpleasant truths about his waning life, Boone begins to face his own insecurities around his own background and masculinity. Is Whale trying to create his perfect mate? Or does he want something darker?

Writer/director Bill Condon won a well-deserved Oscar for his screenplay, based on a novel by Christoper Bram. McKellen also should have won for his heartbreaking performance (sorry, Roberto Benigni). The actor brings a natural pathos to Whale: he is, by turns, hilarious, dirty, and deeply ashamed–not of his sexuality, but of his lower-class upbringing under an abusive father, and his betrayal of an early boyfriend during World War I. Fraiser also delivers the best performance of his career as Boone, a man whose brutish masculinity hides a childlike fear. Touching, stylish, and featuring one of the greatest performances in movie history, we cannot recommend it highly enough.

Streams on HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube & iTunes.

Ian McKellen welcomes JoJo Siwa to the LGBT community

Ian McKellen welcomes JoJo Siwa to the LGBT community

Sir Ian McKellen kept it classy with a message of support for JoJo Siwa (John Phillips/Getty)

Sir Ian McKellen warmly welcomed YouTuber JoJo Siwa to the LGBT+ community with a heartfelt message of support on Twitter.

Seventeen-year-old Dance Moms star Siwa publicly came out on 22 January, sharing a photo of herself in a t-shirt that read: “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”

Her low-key announcement prompted an onslaught of media attention which saw the young star’s home being stormed by police after an alleged “swatting” by paparazzi, who lay in wait outside.

She’s also had to deal with a number of angry parents who believe she’s no longer fit to be a children’s entertainer, and lack the shame to keep their homophobia to themselves.

JoJo Siwa has remained upbeat despite all the drama, thanks in large part to the outpouring of support from her many young followers – but there was one older fan who wanted to share the love too.

Being experienced in matters of the press and the heart, Sir Ian, 81, addressed her directly on Twitter.

“I hope JoJo Siwa puts aside any negative reaction to her coming-out, at a time when she deserves praise and empathy for taking control of her life in such a public way,” he wrote.

Several fans praised McKellen’s sweet message to Siwa, commenting: “Us older LGBT+ have to support the younger ones as they come out.”

“It’s brave to speak one’s truth, and to do so in this way, at this age, is incredible. JoJo deserves all the praise!” said one. “Thank you, Sir Ian, for publicly being by her side.”

“Legends supporting legends,” another added. “This tweet is so beautiful, it represents so much. Thank you Sir Ian.”

Others, however, were mostly just thrilled that Sir Ian McKellen actually knows who JoJo Siwa is.


Russell Tovey and Ian McKellen in a battle of wits and a chilling mystery / Queerty

Russell Tovey and Ian McKellen in a battle of wits

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Twister: The Good Liar

Oscar-winner Bill Condon helms this mystery/thriller, which stars cinematic lion Sir Ian McKellen. In the film, McKellen plays Roy, an aging Con Juan who seducing older, single women to rob them of their money. His latest target: Betty McLeish (Dame Helen Mirren), a recently widowed professor with a fortune in the bank. Betty falls hard for Roy’s charms right away, though her grandson Steven (Russell Tovey), smells a plot.

More than that we’ll not reveal here, as one of the great charms of The Good Liar is its labyrinth of plot twists, reversals and reveals. Suffice it to say that there’s much more to Roy’s past than he would have Betty know, and that she has a secret or two of her own. McKellen and Mirren–two giants of acting–relish their roles, and play their scenes together with typical intensity. Tovey too gives a mature performance in his role as Steven, a man who wants his grandmother to be happy, as much as to be safe. Well paced, taut with suspense and threaded with some very dark humor, The Good Liar should remind viewers that a good movie doesn’t need sex, explosions or tons of special effects. Rather, it just needs some compelling characters and some irresistible actors.

Streams on HBO Max, Amazon, Hulu & VUDU.