Sometimes you agree to something, only to realize you’d prefer to pass. For instance, Ian McKellen has decided he doesn’t want to write a book delving into his most private personal experiences and returned the sizable advance he’d received for his memoir.

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Last year, the news came that McKellen was working on a book for Hodder & Stoughton, for an advance of something like $1.4 million. But at the Oxford Literary Festival, the Hollywood Reporter (via Flavorwire) reports, he explained that, mm, nah:

“I put nine months aside to do it, and I got a very handsome advance. Then I sent the money back,” he said.

“It was a bit painful. I didn’t want to go back into my life and imagine things that I hadn’t understood so far,” McKellen continued. “The privacy of my life I don’t quite understand myself, and it has nothing to do with what I do for a living. So there you go, I’m sorry.”

There are many celebrities who’ve lived much less interesting lives than Sir Ian McKellen who should take a page from his nonexistent book. Ahem.


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