Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde film has him contemplating how being gay has impacted his life and career.
Everett’s film The Happy Prince released today in the UK. The film follows the life of celebrated playwright and author Oscar Wilde.
More specifically, the film follows the last three years of Wilde’s life after her had been released from prison. During that time, the once beloved writer had found himself hated after being found and tried as a gay man. As such, he forced himself into exile before dying in 1900.
The film was written, directed, and acted by Rupert Everett who gave his all for the project. In fact, he says that creating the project was so agonizing that it was like giving birth.
“At the very beginning I had no notion that the whole process would take 12 years," he told SkyNews.
"It was like a long labor… agonizing at times.
"It was always a question of taking one step forward and then two steps backwards, and it was demoralizing, apart from the moments it went well."
Everett also shared that the project almost didn’t happen because a Hollywood producer wanted to go in a different direction.
"When I finished writing it Robert Fox, my producer, sent it to the greatest producer in America who's a guy called Scott Rudin, who really makes the best films in the states.
"He rang back the next day and said 'I love this film' and I was literally at that point making acceptance speeches in the mirror."
"The day after that – and this is a very good picture of show business, it's like snakes and ladders – he rang back and said 'by the way I don't think you're a very good actor and so I think Philip Seymour Hoffman should play Oscar Wilde'."
“…I was so upset, my world crashed, and I said no to him."
In addition, the process has made Rupert Everett appreciate the life he’s led as a gay actor and creative.
Specifically, Everett spoke on the #MeToo movement and how Hollywood is really just a small circle of men who choose the rules that everyone else struggles to follow.
"The thing is in our business, certainly, it's a boy's club, and I think the thing that has upset women about this boy's club is that if you're going to be a member of this boy's club you have to kind of go with the rules of the boys, and I think really underneath it all that's what the Me Too argument is about," Everett said.
"A gay in the boy's club has a very difficult position too because he's really no more than a second-class citizen."
"At the moment it's perfectly alright for a straight man to play a gay role, but it's not perfectly alright for a gay man to play a straight role, and the boys club would say 'it's because you're all such queens' but actually a lot of straight men are quite queeny too.
"A lot of the gay actors are probably good enough actors to be able to play a straight role but they would say 'oh no there will be no chemistry or this or that or the other', but all these are lies, they are rules made up by the boys club," he said.
Despite dealing with the problems of Hollywood, Rupert Everett has continued on and created the story he desperately wanted to create and be a part of for more than a decade.
If you want to see the film for yourself, its out in UK theaters now and will come to the US on October 5.