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I wish online dating had been around when I was young – Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen attending The Good Liar World Premiere (Matt Crossick/PA)
Sir Ian McKellen attending The Good Liar World Premiere (Matt Crossick/PA)

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.

The Good Liar World Premiere – London
Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren attending the premiere (Matt Crossick/PA)

“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.

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