Rupert Everett has lost out on “three or four” roles in major Hollywood films because of his sexuality.
The openly gay British actor has written and directed upcoming biographical drama film The Happy Prince, which charts the life of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, and also stars in the project.
However, Rupert has now insisted that other big roles have passed him by over the years and cited an “aggressively heterosexual” film industry as the reason why.
“There’s tonnes 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,” he told The Press Association in an interview. “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.”
He added that gay performers are treated like “second-class citizens” and often feel “on the back foot”.
But the Stardust actor, who received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in 1997 romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding, is keen to see the positives.
Specifically, he is certain that facing adversity has been the “making of him” and acted as the catalyst for his successful writing career.
“The struggle… has been great, in a way,” the 59-year-old continued. “I think my career as a writer would not have happened if I had been heterosexual, active, working non-stop. I think it has forced me always to try and be creative, to try and make something up.”
Rupert first came to public attention in 1981 when he was cast in Julian Mitchell’s play and subsequent film Another Country as an openly homosexual pupil at an English public school in the 1930s.
The Happy Prince, which also features Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson, is set to be released in U.K. cinemas in June (18).
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