Rupert Everett reveals why gay actors are “second class citizens” in Hollywood
It seems pretty disgraceful that despite the fact that we're in 2018, the world is still a pretty judgemental and unequal place. Whether it's judgement of age, sex, gender or sexuality, we're still struggling and battling to have an equal playing field across all walks of life, and that extends to being a famous, award-winning actor and director.
From the outside looking in, it would be easy to envious of Rupert Everett and his life. The actor, who has starred in numerous films across his 30+ year career has opened up about the difficulties he still faces when trying to land a leading role in a movie.
Speaking candidly about the obstacles that he has faced across his long and illustrious career, the 59-year-old star of The Happy Prince claimed that he had encountered situations where he believed that his sexuality was used against him as he attempted to bag a leading role. “There’s tons of roles that I haven’t got for lots of different reasons, some of them probably for not being a good enough actor or doing a lousy audition, all that counts,” Everett said.
However, Everett also claimed that there were also other factors of his personality that went against him, with him believing he was refused for rolls due to homophobia in the film industry;
“But 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.
“That does absolutely happen."
Despite the setbacks, Everett says that the discrimination has also been a blessing in terms of the drive it has given him to succeed in his career.
"At the same time, it has been the making of me as well.
“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.”
Everett’s comments come in the build-up to his upcoming project, The Happy Prince, which hits cinemas this Friday. The film is also directed by Everett and sees him star as Oscar Wilde, following his life after he was released from prison for being homosexual in 1897.
Speaking about the comparisons between Wilde and himself, Everett said:
"My position of working in this aggressively heterosexual milieu of showbusiness has definitely made me feel kind of parallel [to Wilde].
"Of course, I haven’t been put in prison and subjected to hard labour and I haven’t died from it, but I have been constantly on the back foot, really, in my career as a gay actor.
"Maybe things are changing a bit now, things are loosening up and I hope they go further."
It takes immense bravery to come out and speak out against the industry that has created your career and Everett deserves praise for doing so. Until we reach a level playing field across society, the more people like Everett that come forward and shed light on these injustices, the better.