Sir Ian McKellen is battling prostate cancer.
The 73-year-old "The Hobbit" star opened up to The Daily Mirror about his diagnosis, and also revealed that in addition to his hearing problems and cataract, he's been living with prostate cancer "for six or seven years."
“You are going to write ‘Ian McKellen is decrepit. He can’t see, he can’t hear he can’t pee, he’s having his teeth done,'” he told the UK paper, joking about his afflictions, which is fitting since he doesn't seem too worried about his health problems.
“When you have got [cancer] you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn’t spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it’s no big deal," he explained. “Many, many men die from it but it’s one of the cancers that is totally treatable so I have ‘waitful watching.' I am examined regularly and it’s just contained, it’s not spreading. I’ve not had any treatment.”
The actor looked quite healthy at the premiere of "The Hobbit," and McKellen recently told The Huffington Post that despite his age, he didn't feel it would have been easier to film the movie 10 years ago.
"Maybe they were providing support I wasn't aware of, just thinking about it. But I don't think so. I never took advantage of the buggy carts that would take you to the set if you needed it. It was the dwarfs who did that -- poor things carrying the heavy weight of their armor and their padding and so on. And their prosthetics. No, I could still manage it," he said, adding that he didn't have to do anything too strenuous:
"But, actually, being a film actor is a bit of a doddle. You're looked after every inch of the way. You're taken up by helicopter to the top of some mountain that no human being has ever climbed because you're in the wilds of New Zealand and, there, you'll be treated a three-course meal that would grace a really expensive restaurant down below. [Laughs] There are even clean and serviceable loos for you to use. And someone to help you dress ... no, no -- it's pretty easy. But I don't get any special treatment because everyone gets well treated."
For more of Sir Ian McKellen's very candid interview, click over to the Daily Mirror.
UPDATE: The actor's agent Chris Andrews has denied that his client has prostate cancer. Andrews told ABC News, “No, he does not have prostate cancer. … That was taken out of context and from an interview from years ago."
A rep for the actor told The Huffington Post that McKellen will be releasing a statement on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, "as there are so many different versions of the story out there."
UPDATE II, Dec. 12, 11:50 A.M: McKellen took to Twitter to set the record straight in regards to reports on his health:
"There have been new reports in the press of the old news that I have early prostate cancer. This was diagnosed six or seven years ago. There is no cause for alarm. I am examined regularly and the cancer is contained. I've not needed any treatment."