A highly famous and respected actor, Sir Ian McKellen has starred in some of cinema’s greatest blockbusters. Having played the powerful wizard Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, to historic figures like Richard III, there isn’t a role that Sir Ian can’t do justice do. Identifying proudly as a gay man for many years, Sir Ian has also become a symbolic icon in the LGBT community thanks to his activism as a campaigner for gay rights. When booked as a diversity and inclusion speaker he is able to discuss his distinguished career and the importance of equality in society.
Sir Ian is perhaps best known for his role as Gandalf in the Tolkien adaptation The Lord of the Rings and its Hobbit prequels. He also starred as Magneto in the X-Men films showing his versatility as an actor who appeals to all audiences. From Shakespeare to science fiction, there isn’t a role that Sir Ian cannot perform and whether it’s stage or screen, Sir Ian has been the recipient of a number of huge accolades over the years. This includes six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe award and many more. He has also received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Awards.
Growing up in Lancashire during the war Sir Ian didn’t have an easy start to life. Despite this, he was academically gifted and studied English at Cambridge University. During his studies, Sir Ian honed his craft starring in a number of plays. Out of university he became a regular on the theatre circuit and performed frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre.
Coming out publicly as gay in 1988, Sir Ian has used his platform to promote LGBT awareness across the world. Despite seeing immense progress over 30 years since coming out, Sir Ian is passionate that there is still room for improvement. During his diversity and inclusion speaking events, Sir Ian McKellen brings awareness to the continued problem of a lack of diversity in Hollywood, having powerfully spoken out about the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations and how no openly gay men have ever won an Oscar. Bringing awareness to the stigma which still surrounds topical subjects, Sir Ian McKellen is a fantastic diversity & inclusion speaker.