Sir Ian McKellen always thinks he has taken on his "last job".

The 85-year-old actor has had an illustrious career on stage and on screen for six decades but as he takes on the role of Falstaff in a new London production of 'Player Kings', he admitted that realises his own mortality by looking at how many contacts he has left

.He told The Saturday Times magazine: "If you want to know that you are mortal you just have to look at your address book. And so when a script comes through, or the hint of an offer, you think, ‘This might be my last job. No. I’m not doing that.'

“So if Falstaff is my last job, I’d better get it right, hadn’t I?"

The Shakespearean actor is known to film audiences for his role as Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' series but even though the next installment, titled 'The Hunt for Gollum', is due for release in 2026, he admitted that he has not received any offer to star in it and wondered if he would even be alive by then.

He said: "There is no script, there is no offer, there is no. [But I'm interested], if I'm alive!"

The stage legend then pondered if there was any other job out there other than acting where people are "conscious" of their ongoing improvement, as he insisted that he is now "better" than ever at his craft.

He said: "I don’t know if people in other jobs are conscious of getting better at what they do, but it’s been a matter of pride to me that I’m better at acting now than I was when I started."