Rupert Everett was in Moscow during the fall of communism; in Berlin the night the wall came down; and in downtown Manhattan on Sept. 11th. By the age of 17 he was friends with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, and since has been up close and personal with some of the most famous women in the world: Julia Roberts, Madonna, Sharon Stone and Donatella Versace. It seems drama has always gripped the actor, even before he swept to fame with outstanding performances in such popular films as “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Shakespeare in Love.”
So reads the amazon.com review of Everett’s telling autobiography “Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins” (Warner Books, January 2007) — a wry-yet-thoughtful account of the many events that have helped shape his career (including being kicked out drama school for “insubordination”).
Everett is perhaps most heralded for his role in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997). In its review, the New York Times claims he “winds up stealing” the film in his role as the gay editor who Roberts’ character recruits in hopes of riling her soon-to-be-married target. And Rolling Stone wrote: “Roberts is ideally partnered with Rupert Everett, who gives a witty, wicked, bust-out performance.”
“Everything changed for me with ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’ The weirdest thing about it is it seemed like such a bad opportunity at the beginning because on the paper it wasn’t really [much of] a role.’
Already an author of two critically acclaimed novels (“Hello Darling, Are You Working?” and “The Hairdressers of St. Tropez”), the British-born former model further exemplifies his talents in that he carved his acting teeth on the London stage prior to venturing to Hollywood.
“English actors are treated like immigrants — they’re a gypsy race. They go where the work is, and there’s never been much work in England.”
Everett’s film credits also include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Next Best Thing,” “A Different Loyalty” and “Separate Lies.” More recently, he has voiced Prince Charming in the hit comedy “Shrek 2″ and Fox in the recent “Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
“I have nothing to complain about….except maybe people wondering if a queen like me can butch it up enough to play a convincing straight man.”
Indeed, he of the “Hollywood Heartthrob” label grabbed headlines in 1987 by publicly announcing his homosexuality — a declaration many predicted would be detrimental to his acting livelihood. Yet his popularity seems to have grown exponentially, making him one of the first openly gay actors whose career was not wounded by sexual orientation. Well-known for dealing with adversity with a direct and often-comedic approach, Everett has helped pave the way for gay actors in Hollywood.
“I’m a sex machine to both genders. It’s all very exhausting. I need a lot of sleep.”
AT A GLANCE: Rupert Everett was born in Norfolk, England, and began his acting career at age 15 in London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. After a stint at Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre in Scotland, he landed a prominent role as Guy Burgess in “Another Country.” Ensuing credits include “The Comfort of Strangers,” “Dellamorte Dellamore,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “An Ideal Husband,” “To Kill a King” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking.”
Everett divides his time between residences in both the United States and United Kingdom.