British thespian SIR Ian McKellen has blasted Will Smith for remarks he claims were homophobic.

The LORD OF THE RINGS star kept quiet about Smith's comments while they pair were making SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION in 1993, but the gay rights icon has decided the Hollywood actor should now account for what he said.

Smith refused to kiss another man in the film, claiming it would "gross out" his fans - and McKellen has never forgiven him.

He says, "He thought he was saying something very individual but what he was actually confirming was that he's got the disease so many people have - homophobia."

Meanwhile, the homosexual star wants gay rights to be respected in Hollywood in his lifetime, because he's sick of stars hiding in the closet.

He adds, "There are actors of all ages in Hollywood who lie about their sexuality. It's disgusting and bewildering."

21/10/2004 21:07