Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen has addressed remarks made by Homeland star Damian Lewis indicating that he was a "fruity" actor.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Lewis was asked about his career plans in which he claimed he didn't want to "end up" as "one of those slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn't start getting any kind of film work until I was 50 and then start playing wizards".

Although Lewis didn't specifically address his remarks toward one particular actor, McKellen told the Radio Times that Lewis "needn't worry" about him.

McKellen said: "I'm very happy, he needn't worry about me.

"To rebut it, I wouldn't like to have been one of those actors who hit stardom quite early on and expected it to continue and was stuck doing scripts that I didn't particularly like just to keep the income up."

He added: "I've always wanted to get better as an actor. And I have got better. You've only got to see my early work to see that... (And) to be allowed, for the first time in your later career, to play leading parts in extremely popular movies is not a situation to worry about."