Currently portraying the celebrated, oft-quoted Oscar Wilde in the play The Judas Kiss at BAM, Rupert Everett is also planning to star in a biopic he wrote about the playwright.
The film, which looks at Wilde’s life in exile, after serving two years hard labor for ‘indecent’ acts with other men, will begin shooting in September. Everett says, however, it’s already been eight years in the making due to his trouble securing financing. “The sad thing for me was, if I had written it probably three years before, I would have found it easier,” he explained. “But I was past my sell-by date, so it just wasn’t that easy. I was very lucky to have theater as the next string to my bow because everything else kind of folded up on me.”
The actor has also starred in a stage version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde’s only novel, as well as a film version of the plays An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. “I feel very touched by his brand of genius and stupidity, the mixture of the two,” Everett told the Canadian paper Windsor Star. “He was one of the cleverest men of his era and yet also he was a kind of typical star in a way, in that fame and success blinded him, slightly, at the pinnacle of his success.”
Perhaps best known as Julia Roberts’ gay best friend in 1997’s My Best Friend’s Wedding, Everett says coming out in 1989 hurt his career. “There was a great price to pay for it, because while being gay almost made my career, it almost became bigger than my career was.”