I wish online dating had been around when I was young – Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen has said he wishes online dating had been around when he was younger because it would have “saved a lot of trouble”.
The veteran actor, 80, will next be seen playing a con artist who meets his latest mark on a dating website in the new film The Good Liar.
He stars opposite Dame Helen Mirren, 74, in the movie, which is their first on-screen collaboration.
Arriving at the film’s premiere at the BFI Southbank, he said: “Amongst my friends all the most recent unions have happened because of the internet, I wish it was around when I was first dating, good lord, saved a lot of trouble. It takes the adventure out of things I suppose.”
However, he said he has not tried it himself, adding: “That would put me at a disadvantage because they might know who I was but I wouldn’t know who they were.
“I’m all for online dating, what an easy civilised way round the problem of getting to meet people. But it’s thrilling meeting strangers across a crowded room.”
Dame Helen, who has been married to the director Taylor Hackford since 1997, added: “I think that even when you used to meet people in bars people would big themselves up somewhat, so I don’t think that has really changed.
“Actually I think online dating is brilliant, I think you can find out about people and their sense of humour and their intelligence and stuff like that, which you can’t find out in a bar, a noisy bar at 11 o’clock at night.
“A lot of people have really found their right partner, you meet people online you would never meet if you were just randomly wondering around trying to meet someone, so I think it’s brilliant.”
Dame Helen also claimed that actors make bad liars, because their profession relies on authenticity.
She said: “Actors are in the business of telling the truth, emotional truth, so actually actors are terrible liars. I’m a terrible liar, its’s not what we do, we don’t lie.”
The Good Liar is released in UK cinemas on November 8.