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Kerry O'Brien speaks with Rupert Everett -

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(generated from captions) thing you can do. Paul Lockyer

in a small pocket of the Long

paddock. British actor Rupert

Everett was hailed as an

emerging star in the early '90s

when he began his career with a

West End hit 'Another Country'

playing a troubled gay

schoolboy. The film adaptation

confirmed that status. But

Rupert Everett's career never

quite measured up to that

promise, although few doubted

his able. By his own account,

now detailed in a frank

autobiography, Everett was

easily bored and very busy

having a good time. He lived a

promiscuous gay life with

relationships with Susan sar

adon and Paula Yates. Studios

have gone to extraordinary

lengths to disguise the

sexuality of their stars. He

is probably most easily

identified as the gay friend of

Julia Roberts in 'My Best

Friend's Wedding'. He's made

another mark writing 'Red

Carpets and other Banana

Skins', which has variously

been described as if best

theatrical autobiography since

Noel Cow wards. I recorded

this interview with Rupert

Everett in Sydney. Rupert

Everett, reading what you've

written about yourself and what

others have observed about you,

there's a sense that your's

could have been a glittering

career rather than a career of

ups and downs with a number of

outstanding glittering moments.

Would it be accurate to say to

some degree you've sabotaged

your own success? I don't think

so, really. Everybody's career

is up and down. I don't think

there's many careers in showbiz

that continually stay up. The

trouble with a business like

the cinema is the tragicery has

to be up. You can't plateau

anymore. You can't be someone

who retains a career doing the

same thing for year after year.

Like in the old days. In the

old days actors like Albert

Finney, for example, took two

years off right at the peak of

his success and came back and

he was the same person. If you

took two weeks off now, no-one

would remember who you were

because we have such a

fast-moving business and

there's so much competition,

there's so much product

around. When you appeared in

'Another Country' in the West

End in the early '80s and then

the film, you were set for absolute stardom. You say

yourself really that you ended

up with something less than

that? I was almost in the wrong

time, really. I'd have been

better off in the '70s in

Hollywood. There'd have been

more work for a maverick

character in the '70s, the '80s

became a clean period for

American movies. Your own

school years had some marked

simiiarities with Guy in

'Another Country'. I love him,

I'm not going to pretend

anymore. I'm sick of

pretending. You think it's a

joke, but it's not. I'm never

going to love women. Don't be

ridiculous. Martin only knew

that himself when he was 10, he

told me. How closely did you

identify with that role? Not

very closely did I identify

with it at the time although

funnily enough they had - when

my book came out in England

there was a screening of it at

the national film theatre and I

thought it was uncanny in a way

because it kind of mapped out

the whole of my life in one

sense, that story. That was

the funny thing watching the

film a couple of years ago.

Looking back at my own career

and how complicated it is to be

gay in a trophy business like

the movie business, that film,

you know, was very resonant to me. It wasn't long after

'Another Country' that AIDS as

you say arrived like a

hurricane from overseas to

Britain. How did that impact

on your life? Enormously. Your

own life and the lives of

people around you? Enormously,

it impacted on my life because

I had tonnes of sex up until then, so, you know, it was

rather like being a cartoon

character who'd run over the

edge of a cliff, before

falling. I happened to be

incredibly and miraculously

lucky more or less not to have

contracted AIDS in that

build-up peer in the '70s and

early '80s and the Strangest

things about AIDS and I've

really followed AIDS now around

the world in all its

manifestations because I worked

a lot with the United Nations

now and I go to Africa and Asia

and places like that. But one

of the things it unleashes as

soon as it comes is our own

intense self-hatred, the

self-hatred of the human being

for his brother and I think the most shocking thing about AIDS

when it first happened in

America and it first happened

in England is how rejected

people were who other people

figured might have the disease

and I think that was quite

shocking. There was more than a

decade between 'Another

Country' and 'My Best Friend's

Wedding'. Under way. Got

it. Hey, I'm jewels's fiance

George, just in time for a

pre-Congressual visit. You're

going to humiliate me, aren't

you? If I can. -- precon jerks

ugal visit. You were playing

the " acceptable face of being

gay" with Julia Roberts, but

Hollywood can be hypocritical

about being gay, can't it? I

don't think hypocrital is the

right word. Hollywood doesn't take a stance about anything

unless there's cash involved.

If you're gay and you're making

money being gay, then Hollywood

will embrace it, you know,

100%. If you're gay and it's

not successful, then all the

old bigotry will probably come

out, I think. Mmm, so do you

think you paid a price in

Hollywood for being openly and

at times outrageously gay? Six

of one, half a dozen of the

other , isn't it? I made a good

career out of it for a while.

When it didn't work and

certainly when we moved into

Bush America, my career in Hollywood just came to a

standstill. Are you the kind of

person who works out at age 47

what you want to do with the

rest of your life, or will you

take things as they come? I think less would be more for me

in terms of doing things. I

don't feel very in tune

particularly with the world as

it is at the moment. Doing

things like movies and books

and things is great, but I

don't know... the world of

showbiz I think is kind of

tragic to be honest now database and it doesn't

interest me that much. What are

the key features of the

tragedy? It's just one big

asset strip, really. If you're

in a successful movie now, you

have to come out with a line of

panties. If you want to keep

the tragicery of your career

going up and then after the

line of panties you have to

come out with something else

and success is the driving

force of everything. It sets

some people up as having things

and the people that have not

are meant to look at it and

admire it and want to have it

and I don't think it's getting

us anywhere and I think

actually in terms of the world,

we're being so entertained out

of our minds that we are

incapable of looking at

actually what is happening to

us. So we were talking just

before about what Americans are

thinking about the war.

They're not thinking about the

war they're thinking about

Jennifer Lopez's butt or

Britney's haircut. They can't

think of anything else.

They've been blobbed by all

these giant distractions which

I think are macabre. You

described a quiet reflective

moment making a film in

Columbia when you felt, "Losing

myself" . Explain that? I

think the self really, ourself

is an exhausting anxious

conflicted aggressive, angry,

frightened thing. And we drag

along all this baggage from the

past everywhere and we're

always anxious about what's

going to happen next, how are

we going to keep going? Pay

this bill, keep our children in

school - whatever it is. I

found very early on, particularly travelling a lot

in movies, some of the most

peaceful times were when you

were just lost somewhere away

from everything and everyone

and no-one really knows who you

are and where you are and

no-one in your life knows where

you are and there's a feeling

of intense peace. I look