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!"

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on