Wilde Thing

We are sitting at a table in the Merrion hotel. It’s 10am, and Rupert Everett is tucking into some tea and toast. It’s only now that we’re face-to-face I realise the severity of the physical transformation he took on to play Oscar Wilde in his latest venture The Happy Prince. It marks Everett’s first foray into producing his own film, and centres around Wilde’s final years in France following the two years he spent in prison after being convicted of gross indecency. Everett hasn’t done any time for being openly gay in Hollywood, but it certainly hasn’t been easy. He’s never been afraid to speak his mind, calling out the movie industry for being inherently homophobic, and expressing regret over coming-out so early in his career. His controversial opinions have landed him in hot water over the years, and his several autobiographies are littered with off-hand insults about past co-stars (he’s called Madonna the antichrist). That doesn’t take away from a career littered with iconic roles, like the dashing George in My Best Friend’s Wedding or Prince Charming in Shrek. He may have worked himself to the bone to get The Happy Prince off the ground, but Everett still manages to ooze smooth charm over breakfast. He’s as profoundly well-spoken as I had hoped he’d be, and has a passion for cinema and filmmaking that has resulted in a Wildean triumph.

“I adore Oscar for those warts-and-all qualities, for the flaws, because I can see myself falling into the same traps.

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