The merchandizing tabula rasa known colloquially as Sir Ian McKellen may have outed at least one of his Hobbit co-stars way back in a 2012 interview with the German website Brash.de, a slip of confidence that will probably start a day-long brushfire of internet speculation about who the outed co-star(s) could possibly be.
First, the interview. Brash.de asked McKellen several questions about the difference between being an out actor back in 2001 (when the first LOTR movie was released), and being an out actor in 2012. In 2001, McKellen was the only openly gay actor doing a major turn in a film franchise, but now, he isn't even the only openly gay actor in The Hobbit movies. The interview excerpt comes to us by way of Google translate, but there's certainly some non-conformist out there itching to put his or her high school German skillzzz to the test:
Brash: Still, there is hardly colleagues who follow your example, right?
Ian McKellen: I would say that has been done in this regard in the last ten years in the industry a lot. Just look only how many openly gay actors in the "Hobbit" with were: two of the dwarves, to Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Lee Pace. In "The Lord of the Rings" I was the only one next to it there was my make-up artist and one from the wardrobe team. That's only once a progress, right?
How honest and insightful, Sir Ian! The only problem is, not even all the actors McKellen mentioned by name are openly gay (Luke Evans has, after coming out, downplayed his sexuality, and Lee Pace has been, according to Groupthink's very own Pope Alexander, "living in a glass closet of sorts for while." Only one of the dwarves, Adam Brown, has come out, but that leaves at least one actor now at the mercy of the rapidly churning rumor mill. The most popular guess is that McKellen was talking about Richard Armitage, who's long been the subject of baseless gay rumors floating around the internet, but Armitage is only the most famous of 11 other dwarves who probably won't attract as much gossip attention. [Queerty, Bash.de]
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Image via AP, Jonathan Short