Ian McKellen Returns $1.4M Advance for Memoir He No Longer Wants to Write

Ian McKellen will not be writing a memoir after all.The Oscar-nominated actor revealed he’s backed out of his book contract with UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton, which commissioned a book about his life last year, while speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival Sunday. In backing out of the deal, McKellen said he’s returned his advance, worth approximately $1.4 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Regarding why he decided to scrap the project, McKellen said he simply wasn’t ready to revisit certain elements from his past.

“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,” McKellen said. “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, 76, came out of the closet at age 45, and has said he regretted not doing so earlier in life.

“I think I would have been a different person and a happier one,” he said.