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Gays second-class citizens in Hollywood, says Rupert Everett

Wilde-ly creative: Rupert Everett PIC: PA

RUPERT EVERETT says he has lost out on ‘three or four’ roles in big Hollywood films because he is gay.

The ‘aggressively heterosexual’ film industry treats gay performers like ‘second-class citizens’, he 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.’

Everett, 59, went on: ‘That does absolutely happen. But at the same time it has been the making of me as well.

‘It has forced me always to try and be creative, to try and make something up.

‘I think my career as a writer would not have happened if I had been heterosexual, active, working non-stop.’ The star of My Best Friend’s Wedding and the St Trinian’s films is the writer, director and star of new movie The Happy Prince, in which he plays playwright Oscar Wilde living in exile after his release from prison.

Everett said: ‘My position of working in this aggressively heterosexual milieu of showbusiness has definitely made me feel kind of parallel [to Wilde]. 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. Maybe things are changing a bit now, things are loosening up and I hope they go further.’

The Happy Prince will be released in London on Friday and nationwide on June 22.