UPDATE: Coming-out PR guru Howard Bragman (who took actress Meredith Baxter out today) just commented about the interview to me: “As I read it, the important part of what Rupert said wasn’t about actors and opportunities. It was at the end where he said that, despite the professional opportunities he was denied, he was a happier person. And I can tell you that of all the many, many actors I have taken out of the closet, not one has ever regretted the decision to live their life honestly. Whether it hurts an actor, I always tell people that may be what happens, and they have to measure their personal happiness against their potential career. There may well have been other reasons Rupert didn’t become the leading man he imagined himself going to be. But this isn’t about your bank account. This is about your soul.”
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Rupert Everett said: “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. And I’m sick of saying, ‘Yes, it’s probably my own fault.’ Because I’ve always tried to make it work and when it stops working somewhere, I try to make it work somewhere else. But the fact of the matter is, and I don’t care who disagrees, it doesn’t work if you’re gay.”
And that is why he surprisingly advises other Hollywood actors not to be openly gay like he is. “It’s not that advisable to be honest. It’s not very easy. And, honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out.” As for those stars still in the closet, he does admit, “I think, all in all, I’m probably much happier than they are. I may not be as rich or successful, but at least I’m vaguely free to be myself.”
As for as getting roles, Everett said: “It’s worse now. A gay man can only do drag.”.. I’ve been reduced to drag.” He blames politics. “Being in Hollywood is like being in the Christian right these days. It’s very, very right wing, no matter how much they claim they’re all Democrats and they’re fighting for Barack Obama… These huge groups like Viacom produce these extraordinary stories where the good win and the bad lose and the villain smokes a cigarette and young couples don’t have sex and everyone says ‘Gosh!’ at worst. It’s this whole language of political correctness, which I think is the closest thing to evil.”
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