Ian McKellen Returns $1.4 Million Book Advance Because It Was Too 'Painful' Reliving His Past

by John Boone 10:50 AM PDT, April 05, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Gandalf won't be telling all anytime soon.

Sir Ian McKellen reportedly returned a $1.4 million book advance to his publisher last month, and now, the 76-year-old Lord of the Rings actor has opened up about why you can't put a price tag on privacy.

"I put nine months aside to do it, and I got a very handsome advance," McKellen explained at the Oxford Literary Festival on Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Then I sent the money back."

WATCH: Best Bromance Ever! Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Kiss at 'Mr. Holmes' Premiere

"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," he added. "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."

McKellen would have plenty to fill an autobiography with too: He has acted in everything from Shakespeare to X-Men movies and been lauded with Laurence Olivier Awards and two Academy Award nominations, among others. He came out at the age of 49 in 1988 and has been an outspoken gay rights activist since then. Oh, and he was knighted in the '90s.

How much would it cost for him to just write some short essays about hanging out with Patrick Stewart?

Here's a memoir you'll actually be able to read: Amy Schumer reportedly landed between $8-10 million for her first book, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo. Find out why she says it's going to get "heavy" in the video below.