Sir Ian McKellen is bringing a unique perspective to a Shakespeare classic.

Later this month, the 80-year-old acting veteran is set to star as Prince Hamlet in a new production of the play in England.

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Speaking to BBC Radio 4, McKellen addressed the prospect of playing the character, which is generally thought of as a 30-year-old.

“When you come see me you won’t see an old man pretending to be a young man,” the actor said, “you’ll see a man pretending to be a prince, pretending to be an intellectual, pretending to be a neurotic, pretending to love his mother, pretending to love girls and boys.”

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Noting his reference to the character’s long hypothesized bisexuality, McKellen added, “You didn’t know that was in Hamlet did you? It’s there, Rosencrantz to Hamlet, ‘You did love me once.’”

This won’t be the first time the actor has played hamlet, having first played the doomed Prince of Denmark in a production 50 years ago.

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