Sir Ian McKellen wants a gay James Bond.
The star, who played the super-powered Magneto in X-Men films for more than a decade, said the time had come for a gay male superhero.
In a wide-ranging interview, he also told Variety that Donald Trump’s anti-LGBT actions since taking office were “appalling” and that Hollywood needed to do more to represent LGBT people.
Sir Ian stated that if Bond, the archetypal British hero, was written as gay, it would make much more sense than him being straight.
“If you play James Bond as an outwardly camp, silly gay man that no one took seriously and then he turned out as many gay men are underneath their clothes – buff and strong and as hetero as any hetero – we might have a more truthful story than the one that has been told,” he said.
The Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actor, 78, joked that he was “not volunteering” to play the role of Bond – “I’m insisting.
“No, I’m too old to play it. I can be on the periphery of this new version.”
He added that he didn’t think actors had “quite understood the joke” about Bond when it came to his true nature.
“James Bond is a wimp! He’s a silly Englishman that wants his martinis stirred.
“He changes his underwear, like Superman, and he can save the world.
“They all play it the same – he’s heroic all the way through. No, he’s not.”
The veteran actor criticised film studios for not representing the truly diverse makeup of modern society, especially when it comes to LGBT people.
“I wouldn’t say the films coming out of the mainstream are quite as related to what’s going on in the real world as I would like them to be,” he said.
“One indication of that is LGBT people don’t really get quite a big enough say.
“If you’re one of those initials yourself, you do notice that actually, these movies are not about me at all.”
Sir Ian added that this climate was not helped by the steps Trump has taken since taking office, including rolling back protections for trans kids.
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The actor called the moves “appalling and quite unnecessary and very un-American.
“The gay rights movement began in America,” he pointed out.
“It began in San Francisco, it began in Stonewall, the city where Donald Trump was born and thrived.”
Sir Ian refused to believe that Trump could be accidentally cutting LGBT rights, saying: “If he’s not aware of the issues, I’d be amazed.”
Earlier this year, Power Rangers featured the first ever gay superhero in a blockbuster film, as Trini, the Yellow Ranger, came out to her fellow heroes.
Speaking at the Stonewall Youth Awards last month, Sir Ian said of coming out that “it is the best thing that any gay person will ever do.”
The Lord Of The Rings and X-Men star added that he would love to have written on his tombstone when he dies: “Here lies Gandalf. He came out.”
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