As you’ll no doubt know, director Bryan Singer has been faced with a slew of sexual misconduct allegations over the last few months, leading to the reputation of his Oscar-nominated movie Bohemian Rhapsody taking a hit. For superhero fans, though, Singer’s best known for helming four of Fox’s X-Men films. Namely, 2000’s X-Men, 2002’s X2, 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
Someone who’s worked with the disgraced filmmaker many times in the past, then, is Sir Ian McKellen, who Singer originally cast as Erik Lensherr AKA Magneto. While speaking with National Student Pride, the British actor and long-term gay rights activist was asked for his thoughts on the recent scandals involving Singer and Kevin Spacey. The star didn’t attempt to defend his former collaborators and instead pondered the psychological reasons for their actions, saying:
“With the couple of names you’ve mentioned, people I’ve worked with, both of them were in the closet. And hence all their problems as people and their relationships with other people, if they had been able to be open about themselves and their desires, they wouldn’t have started abusing people in the way they’ve been accused.”
When asked if he thinks Spacey should return to acting in the future, McKellen spoke about how he believes it’s not a “black and white” issue and different people will have different views. “I rather think that’s up to the public,” he commented. “Do you want to see someone that’s been accused of something that you don’t approve of? Do you ever want to see them again?”
McKellen, an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement, also opened up about his own worries that accusations of some sort will be thrown at him, whether they’re true or not.
“Well frankly, I’m waiting for someone to accuse me of something, and me wondering whether they’re not telling the truth and me having forgotten.”
Singer’s been accused of sexual misconduct by eight separate men and has denied all claims. Nevertheless, the evidence is enough to have his BAFTA nomination revoked and his next project, a Red Sonja movie, put on indefinite hold.
The X-Men franchise, meanwhile, continues this summer with Dark Phoenix, directed by Simon Kinberg.