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Patrick Stewart 'flattered' leading newspaper mistakenly identified him as gay

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Actor Patrick Stewart records photographers with his mobile phone while posing at the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, California, January 3, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Actor Patrick Stewart records photographers with his mobile phone while posing at the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, California, January 3, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

REUTERS

Actor Patrick Stewart records photographers with his mobile phone while posing at the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, California, January 3, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Actor Patrick Stewart has said he was "flattered” when a leading newspaper mistakenly identified him as gay.

The X-Men star (74) said that ultimately he was proud of the Guardian newspaper's assumption, which appeared in an article in February last year, following actress Ellen Page's announcement that she was gay.

Stewart had offered a message of support to the actress after she made the announcement at an LGBT conference in Las Vegas.

Speaking to The Advocate website, the  veteran actor said the first contact he received after the error was published was from his long-time friend and fellow actor Sir Ian McKellen.

"The first contact I had was from Ian McKellen, who sent me an email saying, congratulations!," he said.

"I accepted the congratulations, and told him that this was a distinctive honour that had been awarded."

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23:  Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell attend the Metropolitan Opera Season Opening Production Of "Eugene Onegin" at The Metropolitan Opera House on September 23, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell attend the Metropolitan Opera Season Opening Production Of "Eugene Onegin" at The Metropolitan Opera House on September 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell attend the Metropolitan Opera Season Opening Production Of "Eugene Onegin" at The Metropolitan Opera House on September 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

"Supporting gay rights is natural," Stewart added.

He said he responded to the mistake in “the only way I could”, by playfully tweeting the news outlet with the tweet, “But @guardian I have, like, five or even SEVEN hetero friends and we totally drink beer and eat lots of chicken wings!”.

However, he holds no grudges toward the newspaper: “The Guardian is a newspaper that I love and have tremendous affection for,” he explained.

“I wasn’t going to get all upset and stuffy about somebody being a little bit careless in their research.”

“Or frankly who had looked at some of the evidence and made an assumption,” he said.

The 'evidence' he refers to are photos like the recent delightful images he shared of himself and McKellen, sometimes strolling hand-in-hand at various outings.

Meanwhile, fans of the pair will have been disappointed to learn that neither are coming back for the next instalment of the X-Men movie franchise.

The actor played Professor Xavier in the original trilogy of superhero films as well as in recent instalment X-Men: Days Of Future Past, but he told Larry King Now that fans wouldn't see him the next time the franchise hits the big screen.

"Nor Sir Ian McKellen, either. I learned quite a lot more about it last night and it...it is...looking very much at the earlier lives of all our characters, so I don't think we'll be making an appearance," he said.

Online Editors