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Rupert Everett says he lost out on ‘three or four’ major Hollywood roles because he was gay

The star of 'The Happy Prince' says gay actors are still treated as "second class citizens".

By Will Stroude

Rupert Everett opened up about homophobia in Hollwood, admitting he believes he’s lost out on “three or four” big movie roles because he is gay.

The British star, 59, says gay actors are still treated as “second class citizens” in the industry and that he believes he’s been blocked from “three or four” big movie roles simply because of his sexuality.

Speaking to the Press Association, Everett said: “There’s tons 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.

“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.”

Everett, who has written, directed and starred in new Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince, set for release this Friday (June 15), went on to say that the adversity he’s faced in Hollywood helped him to relate to his role as the gay Irish writer.

“My position of working in this aggressively heterosexual milieu of show business has definitely made me feel kind of parallel [to Wilde]” he explained.

“Of course I haven’t been put in prison and subjected to hard labour and I haven’t died from it but I have been constantly on the back foot, really, in my career as a gay actor.

Hollywood veteran Everett, who opens up about his career in our new Summer issue, continued: “It is a subtle thing, taking part in a boys’ club – a straight boys’ club – and if you are a woman in it you have to bend yourself towards that world and if you are a gay in it, you are a second-class citizen, really, and subjected, at a certain point, to a brick wall, in terms of getting on.

“My function [as an actor] was as a gay best friend, a confidante, a kind of hairdresser, constantly there with the curling tongs, which is fair enough but as a performer there is not very far you can go with that before you bore everyone s**tless.”

“The point is, for gay performers there is no, or very little, back and forth.

“In other words, the straights can play all the gay characters they want but the gays don’t get much of a chance to play any straight characters because, as far as this status quo is concerned, we are still gay and no matter how macho you are, they will just still think of you probably as a gay.”

Read Rupert’s full interview in Attitude’s Summer issue and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.