Rupert Everett: Hollywood is like Afghanistan

Working in Hollywood is 'like being in Afghanistan', says Rupert Everett

Brit actor Rupert Everett has likened making films in Hollywood to ‘being in Afghanistan’ due to its narrow-minded attitudes towards women, homosexuality, abortion and addiction.

‘Hollywood is a place that pretends it’s very liberal but it’s not remotely. It’s like al-Qaeda,’ he told The Times.

Everett, who starred opposite Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, believes that he has been refused lead roles because of his homosexuality.

In his autobiography, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, he claimed that the head of MGM once vetoed his casting as the male lead opposite Sharon Stone in a film, saying that ‘to all intents and purposes a homosexual was a pervert in the eyes of America and the world would never accept me in the role and therefore MGM would never hire me.’

He added that his role as the voice of Prince Charming in the Shrek movies was one that he would not have secured in a non-animated film.

This month, Jodie Foster publicly thanked her partner, Cydney Bernard, at an awards breakfast. But Rupert says this is not an indication that things are getting easier for gay actors in Hollywood.

‘It’s the opposite. She is 45 and she just couldn’t be bothered any more. After a certain age you can be gay. Before that, it’s not only not good, it’s impossible.’

Rupert also gave Hollywood a tongue-lashing over its treatment of women, particularly ageism and its double standards on abortion and addiction.

‘The treatment of women is quite extraordinary,’ he said. ‘If you compare being a 70-year-old woman to a 70-year-old man, the old woman will maybe get to play a grandmother. The old man will do a film with a 20-year-old girl.

‘On abortion, [the studios] are for it in private because they don’t want actresses to clog up their schedules [by taking time off to have babies]. But in films if you get pregnant you have to keep the baby and end up with the man.’

He added: ‘A 50-year-old male drug addict will be supported. Female alcoholics and drug addicts are absolutely rejected.’

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