Rupert Everett (born May 29th, 1959) is an English actor who played the voice of the fox in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film, Another Country, as an openly homosexual student at an English public school, set in the 1930s.
Since then he has subsequently appeared in many other films including My Best Friend's Wedding, An Ideal Husband, The Next Best Thing and the Shrek sequels. He currently lives in London.
Everett was born in Norfolk, England, to Sara and Major Anthony Michael Everett, who worked in business and served in the British Army. Through his maternal grandparents, Opre Vyvyan and Vice Admiral Sir Hector Charles Donald MacLean, he is a descendant of the baronets Vyvyan of Trelowarren and the German Freiherren (barons) von Schmiedern, as well as a great-nephew of Donald Duart Maclean, the Soviet double agent, and a great-grandson of the Liberal politician, Sir Donald Maclean, who was leader of the parliamentary opposition in the years following the First World War. He has a brother, Simon Anthony Cunningham Everett.
From the age of seven, Everett was educated at Farleigh School, Hampshire, and later was educated by Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, but he left school at 15 and ran away to London to become an actor. In order to support himself, he worked as a male prostitute, or 'rent boy', for drugs and money as he later admitted to US magazine in 1997. After being dismissed from the Central School of Speech and Drama for insubordination, he travelled to Scotland and got a job at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow.
Everett's break came in 1981 at the Greenwich Theatre, in the West End production of Another Country, playing a gay schoolboy opposite Kenneth Branagh, followed by a film version in 1984 with Colin Firth. Following on with 1985's Dance With A Stranger, Everett began to develop a promising film career until he co-starred with Bob Dylan in the huge flop Hearts of Fire (1987). Around the same time, Everett recorded and released an album of pop songs entitled 'Generation Of Loneliness'. Despite being managed by the largely successful pop svengali Simon Napier-Bell (who also managed Marc Bolan, launched and managed Japan, and steered Wham! to international fame), the public didn't take to his change in direction. The shift was short-lived, and he would only return to pop indirectly by providing backing vocals for his friend Madonna many years later, on her cover of "American Pie" and on the track "They Can't Take That Away from Me" on Robbie Williams' 'Swing When You're Winning' in 2001.
In 1989, Everett moved to Paris, writing a novel, Hello, Darling, Are You Working?, and coming out as gay, a move which some at the time perceived as damaging to his career.
Returning to the public eye in The Comfort of Strangers (1990), several films of variable success followed. The Italian comics character Dylan Dog, created by Tiziano Sclavi, is graphically inspired by him. In 1995, he released a second novel, The Hairdressers of St. Tropez. His career was revitalised by his award-winning performance in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), playing Julia Roberts's gay friend. In 1999, he played Madonna's gay best friend in The Next Best Thing. He has since appeared in a number of high-profile film roles, often playing heterosexual leads.
In recent years, Everett has decided to write again. He has been a Vanity Fair contributing editor and wrote a film screenplay on playwright Oscar Wilde's final years, for which he seeks funding. In 2006, he published a memoir, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins. In it he revealed he had a six-year affair with British television presenter Paula Yates. "I am mystified by my heterosexual affairs — but then I am mystified by most of my relationships," he wrote. Although he is sometimes described as bisexual, as opposed to homosexual, at a radio show with Jonathan Ross, he described his heterosexual affairs as resulting from adventurousness: - "I was basically adventurous, I think I wanted to try everything", and in an interview on 'This Morning', he simply described himself as homosexual, making a joke of any suggestion he might find a woman attractive.
Since then, Everett has participated in public activities (leading the 2007 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras), played a double role in the film St. Trinian's, and has appeared on TV several times (as a contestant in the special Comic Relief Does, The Apprentice, as a presenter at Live Earth, among others), but has made much news for making shocking comments and remarks at interviews that have caused public outrage.
In May 2007, he delivered one of the eulogies at the funeral of fashionista Isabella Blow, his friend since they were in their teens.
Everett recently told British newspaper The Observer that he wished he had never come out of the closet, as he feels that it hurt his career and advises younger actors not to: -
"The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business. It just doesn't work, and you're going to hit a brick wall at some point. You're going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they'll cut you right off... Honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out."
Everett presented the Channel 4 documentary on Romantic poet Lord Byron's travels, broadcast in July 2009, and has a part in the upcoming 2009 comedy film Wild Target, starring Bill Nighy. He recently made his Broadway debut at the Shubert Theatre to good critical review, performing in a Noël Coward play, Blithe Spirit, starring alongside Angela Lansbury, Christine Ebersole and Jayne Atkinson, directed by Michael Blakemore. He was also expected to tour several Italian cities, during the 2008-2009 winter season in another Noël Coward play, Private Lives (performed in Italian, which he speaks fluently), playing Elyot to Italian actress Asia Argento's Amanda. However, the production has been postponed until the 2009–2010 season, and the announcement did not clarify if Everett will still be part of the cast.