Sir Ian McKellen thinks death is "certainly coming" for him.

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen

The 82-year-old actor doesn't believe in the afterlife but he's curious as to how his life will end as he's aware he's unlikely to have many years left.

He said: “I think I decided a long time ago that this was it. Life is not a preparation for the hereafter. Maybe I’m in for a delightful shock. A surprise. No. Death is death.

"So, then, what have I spent my life doing? If this is the only life I’ve got? Well, I think I found something I was good at doing. I feel that that’s been my contribution… What will it be like, I wonder? Will it be preceded by a rage against the light? Will it be painful? Because it’s certainly coming...

"And do you know. I think more people who die are readier for it than the rest of us left alive would guess.”

Although he is getting older, Ian insisted he still feels like he's "about 12" at heart.

He said: "When I was young I was always playing old parts. And, of course, I was having to imagine it.

"Because what does ‘old’ mean? I had no idea! Now that I’m old I do know. And I also know what it’s like to be young. Because as you get older, inside, you’re ageless. Inside? Quite honestly? I feel about 12.”

The 'Lord of the Rings' star turned 82 last month but he wasn't interested in celebrating because actors already get so much attention that he doesn't need his own special day every year.

He told Observer magazine: "Oh, birthdays. At my age I don’t do birthdays.

“Actors don’t need this special attention, I’ve realised. We get cards and presents on first nights. Everyone makes a fuss of us. Birthdays are wonderful things for people who don’t get treated as special all year round.”

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