Rupert Everett

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Rupert Everett
RupertEverett cropped-2.jpg
Born Rupert James Hector Everett
(1959-05-29) 29 May 1959 (age 55)
Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk, England
Nationality British
Education  • Ampleforth College
 • Central School of Speech and Drama
Occupation Actor and writer
Years active 1981–present

Rupert James Hector Everett (/ˈɛvərɪt/; born 29 May 1959) is an English actor and writer. He first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film Another Country (1984) as an openly gay pupil at an English public school in the 1930s.[1] He has since appeared in many other films, including My Best Friend's Wedding, An Ideal Husband, The Next Best Thing and the Shrek sequels.[2]

Early life[edit]

Everett was born in Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk, to Major Anthony Michael Everett (1921–2009), who worked in business and served in the British Army, and wife Sara (née Maclean).[3] His maternal grandfather, Vice Admiral Sir Hector Charles Donald Maclean, was a nephew of Scottish military man Hector Lachlan Stewart MacLean, who received the Victoria Cross.[4] His maternal grandmother, Opre Vyvyan, was a descendant of the baronets Vyvyan of Trelowarren and the German Freiherr (Baron) von Schmiedern. He has a brother, Simon Anthony Cunningham Everett (born 1956). Everett was brought up as a Roman Catholic.[5]

From the age of seven, Everett was educated at Farleigh School, Hampshire, and later was educated by Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire; he left school at 16 and ran away to London to become an actor. In order to support himself during this time, he worked as a prostitute for drugs and money—he disclosed this information in an interview for US magazine in 1997.[6] After being dismissed from the Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London) for insubordination, he travelled to Scotland and got a job at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.

1980s[edit]

Everett's break came in 1981 at the Greenwich Theatre and later West End production of Another Country, playing a gay schoolboy opposite Kenneth Branagh, followed by a film version in 1984 with Cary Elwes and Colin Firth. Following on with Dance With a Stranger (1985), Everett began to develop a promising film career until he co-starred with Bob Dylan in the huge flop Hearts of Fire (1987). Around the same time, Everett recorded and released an album of pop songs entitled Generation of Loneliness. Despite being managed by the largely successful pop svengali Simon Napier-Bell (who had steered Wham! to prominence), the public didn't take to his change in direction. The shift was short-lived, and he only returned to pop indirectly by providing backing vocals for his friend Madonna many years later, on her cover of "American Pie" and on the track "They Can't Take That Away from Me" on Robbie Williams' Swing When You're Winning in 2001.

1990s[edit]

Rupert Everett at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1989, Everett moved to Paris, writing a novel, Hello, Darling, Are You Working?, and coming out as gay, a disclosure which he has said may well have damaged his career.[7] Returning to the public eye in The Comfort of Strangers (1990), several films of variable success followed. The Italian comics character Dylan Dog, created by Tiziano Sclavi, is graphically inspired by him. Everett, in turn, later appeared in an adaptation of a novel based on Sclavi's novel, Dellamorte Dellamore. In 1995 he released a second novel, The Hairdressers of St. Tropez.

His career was revitalised by his award-winning performance in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), playing Julia Roberts's gay friend followed by Madonna's best friend in The Next Best Thing (1999). Everett was a backup vocalist on her cover of "American Pie", which is on the film's soundtrack). Around the same time, he starred as the villainous Sanford Scolex/Dr. Claw in Disney's Inspector Gadget (also 1999) with Matthew Broderick.

2000s[edit]

Everett at a speed dating event with When The Music Stops, for Channel 4's The Friday Night Project in July 2007

For the 21st century, Everett has decided to write again. He has been a Vanity Fair contributing editor, has written for The Guardian and wrote a film screenplay on playwright Oscar Wilde's final years, for which he sought funding.[8][9]

In 2006 Everett published a memoir, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, in which he reveals his six-year affair with British television presenter Paula Yates.[10] Although he is sometimes described as bisexual, as opposed to homosexual, he described his heterosexual affairs during a radio show with Jonathan Ross as the result of adventurousness: "I was basically adventurous, I think I wanted to try everything".[11] In an interview on This Morning, he simply described himself as homosexual, making a joke of any suggestion he might find a woman attractive.[citation needed]

Since the revelation of his sexuality, Everett has participated in public activities (leading the 2007 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras), played a double role in the film St. Trinian's, and has appeared on TV several times (as a contestant in the special Comic Relief Does The Apprentice; as a presenter for Live Earth; and as a guest host on the Channel 4 show The Friday Night Project, among others). He has also garnered media attention for his shocking comments and remarks during interviews that have caused public outrage.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

In May 2007, he delivered one of the eulogies at the funeral of fashion director Isabella Blow, his friend since they were teenagers. He stated as part of his speech: “Have you gotten what you wanted, Issie? Life was a relationship that you rejected.”[18] During this time he also voiced the evil, but attractive mama's boy Prince Charming in the first two Shrek sequels.

Everett's documentary on Sir Richard Burton, in which he retraces the travels of Burton through countries such as India and Egypt, aired on the BBC in 2008. In the documentary, titled The Victorian Sex Explorer, Everett explores the life of a man who investigated a male brothel frequented by British soldiers in Bombay in disguise; introduced the Kama Sutra to England; travelled to the city of Mecca, also in disguise; and was able to converse in more than 20 languages. Everett explained in 2008: "I've been interested in him for years. So many contradictions. Such a riveting, showbusiness character. The godfather of the sexual revolution."[19]

In 2009, Everett told British newspaper The Observer that he wished he had never revealed his sexuality, as he feels that it hurt his career and advised younger actors against such candour:

The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business. It just doesn't work and you're going to hit a brick wall at some point. You're going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they'll cut you right off... Honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out.[20]

Also in 2009, Everett presented two Channel 4 documentaries: one on the travels of Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, broadcast in July 2009,[21][22] and another on British explorer Sir Richard Burton.[23][24]

Everett then returned to his acting roots, appearing in several theatre productions: his Broadway debut in 2009 at the Shubert Theatre received positive critical reviews; he performed in a Noël Coward play, Blithe Spirit, starring alongside Angela Lansbury, Christine Ebersole and Jayne Atkinson, under the direction of Michael Blakemore.[25][26] and he was expected to tour several Italian cities during the 2008–09 winter season in another Coward play, Private Lives (performed in Italian, which he speaks fluently)[27]—playing Elyot to Italian actress Asia Argento's Amanda—but the production was cancelled.[28]

2010s[edit]

During the summer of 2010, Everett performed as Professor Henry Higgins, with English actress Honeysuckle Weeks and Stephanie Cole, in a revival of Pygmalion at the Chichester Festival Theatre.[29] He reprised the role in May 2011 at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End, starring alongside Diana Rigg and Kara Tointon.[30]

In July 2010, Everett was featured in the popular family history programme Who Do You Think You Are?[31] Released in late 2010, the comedy film Wild Target featured Everett as an art-loving gangster, and also starred Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt.[32]

In 2012 Everett starred in the television adaptation of Parade's End with Benedict Cumberbatch. The five-part drama was adapted by Sir Tom Stoppard from the novels of Ford Madox Ford, and Everett appears as the brother of protagonist Christopher Tietjens.[33]

Everett then starred as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss, a stage play held at London's Hampstead Theatre in 2012. In early 2013, Everett began working on a film portraying the final period of Wilde's life, stating in the media that he has had a fascination with the playwright since he was a child, as his mother read him Wilde's children's story The Happy Prince before he slept.[34] Everett explained in November 2013:

The book made me feel mystical at a very early age, there's a line in it which I didn't really understand and I still don't when the happy prince says to the swallow, ‘there is no mystery as great as suffering'. I certainly didn’t understand what it meant and I'm sure my mother reading it to me hadn't got a clue what it meant, but that was interesting and mysterious and a deep thought.[34]

Writing[edit]

In addition to his autobiography and the screenplay for the Wilde biopic, Everett has written several books, such as The Hairdressers of St. Tropez. In November 2010, Everett stated: "... I'm busy writing a TV series called 'Boy Band,' about a boy band, and the second part of my autobiography, titled 'Goodwood, Pinewood, Hollywood and Bollywood' ..."[32]

Political activism[edit]

In 2006, as a homeowner in the central London area of Bloomsbury, Everett publicly supported a campaign to prevent the establishment of a local Starbucks branch, and referred to the global chain as a "cancer". Everett protested alongside one thousand other residents and the group compiled a signed petition.[35][36]

During 2013, Everett, a former sex worker, worked on the production of a documentary on sex work for Channel 4 that includes the issue of criminalisation. Both during and after the filming of the documentary, Everett contributed to the discourse on prostitution legislation in the UK: In October 2013, Everett signed an open letter by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike—alongside groups and organizations such as the Association of Trade Union Councils, Sex Worker Open University, Left Front Art – Radical Progressive Queers, Queer Resistance and Queers Against the Cuts—to oppose the adoption of the "Swedish model", whereby only the clients of sex workers are criminalised.[37]

Everett continued his participation in the sex work legislation debate in 2014, writing a long form piece for The Guardian and appearing on the BBC One programme This Week.[38] Everett's January Guardian article was published in the wake of police human trafficking raids in the Soho area of London and he wrote:

There is a land grab going on in Soho under the banner of morality. That night ... 200 of our boys in blue raided more than 20 models' flats, arresting 30 girls and confiscating their earnings ... They broke down doors, intimidated girls into accepting cautions (ie criminal records) and served civil-eviction papers that, unless you were a lawyer, you would not know had hidden in their depths (20-odd pages) the time and date you were to appear in court if you wanted to appeal. All this in the name of human trafficking ... But while even the police say that more than 90% of prostitutes work of their own accord, trafficking has become one of the new "it" words in the bankrupt moral vernacular, craftily used by puritans, property developers and rogue feminists to combat the sex trade in general. Sections 52 and 53 of the Sexual Offences Act ... shelter under the anti-trafficking umbrella. These laws are created to protect women. In reality, they are putting working girls on to the street and into great danger.[39]

Everett also joined protesters in a demonstration outside the offices of Soho Estates, a major property company that owns properties on Soho's Walkers Court, where many sex workers are based. Everett informs the reader that Soho Estates received approval to demolish properties on Walkers Court to create space for the construction of "two hideous towers replete with heliports". Everett concludes the article by declaring that Soho is "being reduced to a giant waxwork in a museum, nothing more than the set for a foreign film."[39]

In his appearance on BBC One's This Week, Everett engaged in a debate with Michael Portillo and regular panellist Diane Abbott. Portillo agreed with Everett's position, while Abbott adamantly supported the criminalisation of clients and was particularly opposed to street-based sex work.[38]

Everett criticized the introduction of same-sex marriage, claiming: "I find it personally beyond tragic that we want to ape this institution that is so clearly a disaster."[40]

Personal life[edit]

Between 2006 and 2010, Everett lived in New York, US, but returned to London due his father's poor health.[32] In 2008, Everett purchased a home in the west London district of Belgravia.[41]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 A Shocking Accident Jerome and Mr. Weathersby Short film
1983 Princess Daisy Ram Valenski TV mini-series
1984 Another Country Guy Bennett based on the young Guy Burgess
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
1985 Dance with a Stranger David Blakeley
1986 Duet for One Constantine Kassanis
1987 Gli occhiali d'oro Davide Lattes
1987 Hearts of Fire James Colt
1987 Chronicle of a Death Foretold Bayardo San Román
1987 The Right-Hand Man Lord Harry Ironminster Australian film, based on the book of the same name
1990 The Comfort of Strangers Colin
1992 And Quiet Flows the Don Grigory aka Tikhiy Don
1994 Prêt-à-Porter Jack Lowenthal
1994 The Madness of King George Prince of Wales
1994 Dellamorte Dellamore Francesco Dellamorte aka Cemetery Man
1996 Dunston Checks In Lord Rutledge
1997 My Best Friend's Wedding George Downes American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
1998 Shakespeare in Love Christopher Marlowe
1998 B. Monkey Paul Neville
1999 An Ideal Husband Lord Goring Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – European Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1999 Inspector Gadget Sanford Scolex/Dr. Claw
1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream Oberon
2000 Paragraph 175 Narrator Narrator for documentary film
2001 South Kensington Nick
2002 The Importance of Being Earnest Algernon / "Bunbury"
2002 The Wild Thornberrys Movie Sloan Blackburn voice role
2003 Unconditional Love Dirk S.
2003 To Kill a King King Charles I
2004 Stage Beauty King Charles II
2004 Shrek 2 Prince Charming voice role
2004 A Different Loyalty Leo Cauffield
2005 Separate Lies Bill Bule
2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Fox voice role
2007 Stardust Secundus
2007 Shrek the Third Prince Charming voice role
2007 St. Trinian's Headmistress Camilla Fritton/Carnaby Fritton
2009 St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold Headmistress Camilla Fritton
2010 Wild Target Ferguson
2011 Hysteria Lord Edmund St. John-Smythe
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Sota Voice/post-production

Television (selection)[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 1992 Hello, Darling, Are You Working? (novel)
  • 1995 The Hairdressers of St. Tropez (novel)
  • 2006 Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins (memoir)
  • 2012 Vanished Years (memoir)

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New York Times review Canby, Vincent, 29 June 1984.
  2. ^ Rupert Everett profile IMBd
  3. ^ "Rupert Everett's father dies". Newkerala.com. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Vice Admiral Sir Hector MacLean obituary The Telegraph, 24 February 2003.
  5. ^ Moir, Jan (2 October 2006). "Rupert – unleashed and unloved". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Farndale, Nigel (22 May 2002). "The ascent of Everett". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  7. ^ Guardian article. 29 November 2009. I wouldn't advise any actor thinking of his career to come out. Retrieved 27 July 2010
  8. ^ 17 April 2008, (17 April 2008). "Everett needs funds for Wilde movie". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Cannes 2012: Rupert Everett to Make Directorial Debut With Oscar Wilde Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Jan Moir 2 October 2006 Comments (2 October 2006). "Rupert unleashed and unloved". Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ross apologises for swearing star." BBC News.
  12. ^ "Listeners shocked by Everett interview". Daily Mail (UK). 16 September 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  13. ^ Blackburn, Jen (3 August 2007). "Rupert's X-rated TV gaffe". The Sun. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Rupert Everett talks about fingering|BBC Breakfast". Youtube. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Horoscopes. "Actor Everett shuns 'blobby, whiny' USA – Herald". Herald.ie. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  16. ^ Farndale, Nigel (7 June 2008). "Actor Rupert Everett shows his nasty side. Farndale, Nigel Telegraph.co.uk 7 June 2008". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Adams, Stephen (9 June 2008). "Rupert Everett apologises for calling soldiers 'wimps'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Amy Larocca (15 July 2007). "The Sad Hatter". New York Magazine. New York Media LLC. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Nigel Farndale (7 Jun 2008). "Actor Rupert Everett shows his nasty side". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "ABC cancels another Adam Lambert performance". CNN. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Everett plays Byron in documentary". Times-series.co.uk. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "Lord Byron by Rupert Everett – Turkish Daily News". Arama.hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "The Victorian Sex Explorer". Channel 4. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  24. ^ Rupert Everett: 'If I'd been straight? I'd be doing what Hugh Grant and Colin Firth do, I suppose' The Guardian, Brocke, Emma, Monday 20 July 2009.
  25. ^ ""High spirits as Rupert Everett becomes the ghostly toast of Broadway." Teodorczuk, Tom ''Evening Standard'' 16 March 2009". Evening Standard. London. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  26. ^ 16 March 2009 6:45 am in Broadway (16 March 2009). ""Applause for Lansbury in 'Blithe Spirit' on Broadway." Newyorkology.com. 16 March 2009". Newyorkology.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  27. ^ "Rupert Everett interviewed by Fabio Fazio for "Che tempo che fa", a RAI tv programme". Youtube. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "Annullato lo spettacolo "Vite private" – La Riccitelli News". Primoriccitelli.it. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "Chichester Festival Theatre webpage, announcing the production of Pygmalion". Cft.org.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Philip Fisher (2011). "Pygmalion". British Theatre Guide. British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  31. ^ TV review: The Hospital & Who do you think you are? The Guardian, Mangan, Lucy, Tuesday 27 July 2010.
  32. ^ a b c IAIN BLAIR (11 November 2010). "A Minute With: Rupert Everett talking "Wild Target"". Reuters. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  33. ^ Rebecca Hardy (24 August 2012). "He’s known for his debauched past and outrageous comments but Rupert Everett says he's finally mellowing and embracing life in his fifties". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  34. ^ a b Luisa Metcalfe (1 November 2013). "The bedtime story that gave Rupert Everett a lifelong fascination with Oscar Wilde". Express. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "Actor Everett labels Starbucks a 'cancer'". Daily Mail (UK). 18 August 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  36. ^ "Rupert Everett: 'Starbucks Is Spreading Like a Cancer'". Starpulse. Starpulse.com. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  37. ^ Scott Roberts (11 October 2013). "Rupert Everett backs campaign against criminalising prostitution". Pink News. PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  38. ^ a b "Rupert Everett's call to legalise prostitution" (Video upload). BBC One. BBC. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  39. ^ a b Rupert Everett (19 January 2014). "Rupert Everett in defence of prostitutes: 'There is a land grab going on'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  40. ^ "The people who oppose the gay marriage law". BBC News. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  41. ^ Walker, Tim (27 May 2008). "Rupert Everett ain't got no body – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  42. ^ "Victorian Passions Season – Channel 4 (UK)". Channel4.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

Archival sources[edit]

  • Martin Poll Papers 1967–1984 (40.0 linear feet) are housed at the New York University Libraries. Includes materials on Rupert Everett.

External links[edit]