Everett lets rip at Clooney (and Pacino, and Keaton, and ...)

Famed for his brooding disposition and stormy relationships, Rupert Everett has made as many enemies as friends in a career spanning two decades. But rarely has the actor poured as much indignation on so many colleagues in the film industry as he does in an interview published in The Independent Magazine today.

Speaking ahead of the release of his latest film, St Trinian's, in which he plays the headmistress of the eponymous school, Everett scorns a culture that he feels is undermining the best traditions of stage and screen. Film fans are being fed vast quantities of junk, he argues, rendering intelligent judgement and honest criticism all but impossible and "devaluing the currency" of good acting.

Everett has spoken of having sexual relations with men and women, although he maintains that he is gay. In today's interview, he attacks tinsel town's "homophobic" instincts, its shallow cult of "celebrity nonsense," and the "terribly promiscuous" tendencies of modern film.

But he saves his most brutal criticisms for some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. "De Niro, Redford, Keaton, Allen, Pacino ... They're all just tragic parodies of themselves," he says. "Al Pacino looks like a mad old freak now. I say give it a rest, or go and do some serious stuff."

Everett, who was born and brought up with his brother and maternal grandmother in Norfolk, was asked to leave his prep school for "being difficult," expelled from drama school more than a decade later for "insubordination" and claims his time at boarding school in the interim "calcified my heart". It seems old habits die hard. Conformity and Everett are not natural bedfellows.

"Our world is terribly promiscuous," he says. "The other day I saw a film called Because I Said So with Diane Keaton, and I thought, 'here's one of the women we loved most in 1970s cinema, debasing and humiliating herself in this load of trash'.

"Why? Because we're sheep, we just follow the herd ... It's just part of the huge amount of product that's put out now that's really bad. And it's our fault. We're all responsible for how the culture is. You can't draw a distinction between the celebrity nonsense on television and the film industry."

But he reserves his greatest fury for an unlikely object of hatred. "[George] Clooney thinks that, provided he does films which are politically committed, he's allowed to do Ocean's 11, 12, and 13", he says. "But the Ocean's movies are a cancer to world culture. They're destroying us."

And Clooney the man? "He's not the brightest spark on the boulevard. He'll be president one day. Mark my words, if he's straight, he'll be president."

Everett's Hollywood breakthrough came when he co-starred with Julia Roberts in the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding, playing her gay friend. Since then he has starred in several successful films for cinema and television, including Oliver Parker's The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) and the title role in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004).

Inspired by Oscar Wilde, who "pretty well invented the word 'homosexual,'" Everett says he is writing a screenplay of a film about the playwright and poet. He condemns The Judas Kiss, a play by David Hare documenting Wilde's infamous trial, on the grounds that Hare and the director, Richard Eyre, are not qualified to portray Wilde.

Everett insists: "I love David and I love Richard ... but not for that play." He adds: "Those people should never ever have thought about attacking the Oscar Wilde story, because they have no sympathy, or sensitivity, or sensibility. They're rigorously straight, the two of them. They cast Liam Neeson as Oscar Wilde. Why? Because he's big and Irish!"

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable