Rupert Everett has accused Hollywood studios of treating gay people as ‘second-class citizens’.
The 59 year-old actor both stars in and directed The Happy Prince, released this Friday. The movie depicts Oscar Wilde’s life after the writer was released from prison for homosexuality.
Speaking to the Press Association, Everett claimed he has been denied major film roles due to his sexuality. He referred to Hollywood as a ‘straight boys’ club’.
‘There were three or four big films, when I was successful, that the director and the other actors wanted me to be in and that I was absolutely blocked from by a studio, just for the fact of being gay,’ Everett said.
‘That does absolutely happen. But at the same time it has been the making of me as well.’
The star believes his sexuality has been a driving force for his creativity.
‘The struggle that has forced me to have has been great, in a way. I think my career as a writer would not have happened if I had been heterosexual, active, working non-stop.’
Rupert Everett feels parallels to Wilde
Everett expressed a feeling of ‘parallel’ to Oscar Wilde due to his experiences as a gay actor in Hollywood .
‘Of course I haven’t been put in prison and subjected to hard labor and I haven’t died from it but I have been constantly on the back foot, really, in my career as a gay actor.
‘I obviously went into this business applying for world domination and that is an impossible thing to really achieve, certainly in the 80s and 90s.’
Everett also drew parallels between the experiences of women and gay men in Hollywood, in light of the MeToo movement.
‘I think Hollywood is … very hetero, it is very clubby and it is very male, or historically it is, so you need to fit into that to really benefit. This is what the women have been going on about, how compromising it feels to them to just have to fit into it.
‘If you are a gay in [Hollywood], you are a second-class citizen, really, and subjected, at a certain point, to a brick wall, in terms of getting on.’
Everett has received numerous positive reviews for The Happy Prince prior to its release. Gay Star News described the movie as ‘clearly a labor of love’ for Everett, ‘an actor we don’t see enough of on the big screen.’
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