Why Ian McKellen gave up on his memoir

Writing his memoir proved to be too painful for actor Ian McKellen.
Writing his memoir proved to be too painful for actor Ian McKellen.

Sir Ian McKellen returned a £1 million (NZ$2.08 mill) memoir advance because he found writing it "painful".

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring star had signed a deal with publisher Hodder & Stoughton to release a book about his life but changed his mind because he didn't want to "go back and imagine things that I hadn't understood so far".

Speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival, he said: "I put nine months aside to do it, and I got a very handsome advance. Then I sent the money back.

"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. 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."

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Meanwhile, the 76-year-old actor previously revealed he finds fame quite "comforting" because he's generally quite a shy person.

He said: "As someone who started out life pretty shy, and who is still pretty shy, it's very comforting to be known.

"You'll walk into a room, some people come up and say hello and tell you why they're saying hello, because they liked a play or a film and I know where I am."

- Bang! Showbiz

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