Sir Ian McKellen, veteran of stage and screen, poses with the Icon Award at the Winners Boards at the Jameson Empire Film Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, on March 28, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Jameson.)
Here’s McKellen’s speech, referring to Icon Award presenters Roger Rees and Patrick Stewart:
"These two beautiful men, I’ve been working with them separately on Waiting for Godot. The thing is that just one of them is gay, and it’s very difficult to tell which one. After six months with Patrick in the dressing room I really thought I could live with him; he just wants to sit down and have a chat about his career. But Roger and I are far too alike; for one thing, we both have hair.
"But my dears, I’m terribly pleased to be here. I always set out to be a stage actor, but rather late in the day I made films that people actually saw - so let that be an inspiration to those of you who have not yet stood up here receiving one of these. Be ready for the luck when it comes, is my advice.
"I had a fantastic time making films. I still have no idea how it’s done, but I enjoy finding out. That’s one of the reasons I love doing this: you can always hope to get better. So thank you very much indeed."
Among Ian McKellen’s screen credits are Richard III, Gods and Monsters, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Quote source: Empire Online