Sir (to some) Ian McKellen, interviewed in this week’s Newsweek, has this to say about his “coming out”:
I became a better actor, and my film career took off in a way that I couldn’t have expected. You can’t lie about something so central to yourself without harming yourself. Acting in my case is no longer about disguiseÂit’s about telling the truth, and my truth is that I’m gay. I’m very happy for people to know that, and then I can get on with telling the truth about the character that I’m playing. That’s why I can say to other actors: if you really want to be a good actor and a successful one, and you’re gay, let everybody know it.
It’s lucky for McKellen that he’s instinctively a good actor, for he doesn’t seem to understand what acting is all about. A character in a film or play has no “truth” because a character is, by definition, fictional. The actor’s job is to make the character believable to an audience. An actor can do that successfully and still be a liar, a cheat, a drunkard, a dope addict, or an adulterer (to name only a few traits common to actors) — as generations of actors have proved. Acting is acting. It has nothing to do with one’s “truth.”
But political correctness requires celebrities to utter twaddle such as that uttered by McKellen. One thing’s for sure: Successful acting doesn’t require a very high degree of intelligence, just good acting instincts and good scripts.
Technorati tag: Political Correctness