Sir Ian McKellen: Give British Actors a 'Living Wage'

Sir Ian McKellen: Give British Actors a 'Living Wage'

Sir Ian McKellen doesn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. Hardly.

McKellen has a number of high-profile franchises to call his own–The Hobbit, X-Men and The Lord of the Rings.

He still understands the plight of both his out-of-work peers and those struggling to pay the bills on a theater company’s modest salary. He has a solution–a “living wage” for all working actors, according to a new interview with Radio Times captured by The Independent.

Most actors are not rich – they are very poor indeed. What keeps them going is that they just love the job,” Sir Ian told Radio Times.

He said: “I know actors who have had to turn down good roles because they just don’t pay enough. It’s hard. The one thing you can ask, I think, is that actors get paid a living wage. I would like it if all the repertory theatres that currently exist could do that. It would make a huge difference.

The veteran actor didn’t discuss the economic ramifications for the theaters who might engage in these practices.