Rupert Everett says he was ‘frustrated’ by Colin Firth in A Single Man: ‘That role should have been mine’

Actor discussed the topic of gay actors in Hollywood in an interview with Piers Morgan

Connie Evans
Friday 20 May 2022 09:25
Rupert Everett recites Oscar Wilde outside his prison cell

Rupert Everett has spoken of the “frustration” he felt upon seeing Colin Firth play the lead role in Tom Ford’s critically acclaimed film, A Single Man.

Speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Everett, 62, discussed the topic of straight actors playing gay characters. While he said he did not think gay roles need to be played exclusively by gay actors, he seemed irked by Firth’s role as a gay man in the 2009 drama.

“It’s quite frustrating. I was frustrated, I remember going to see Colin Firth in the film by Tom Ford [A Single Man]. I thought, ‘Well, thanks, Colin, that’s the end of my career. Because you know, that role really should have been mine,” he said. “So you know, there’s a frustration about that, of course.”

Everett, who first found fame playing a gay public school pupil in 1984 drama Another Country, has previously said he believed coming out harmed his Hollywood career.

“I don’t think gay actors should just play the gay roles,” he said. “I think that the gay actors should be able to play the straight roles too, I think some straight guys played great gay roles.”

The My Best Friend’s Wedding actor praised performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in Behind The Candelabra and applauded Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.

Everett told Morgan: “I think the question is more ‘Why can’t gay actors play straight roles?… We shouldn’t be making rules about this. Yes, of course. It’s great for gay actors who’ve had quite a hard time, you know historically, to be playing more roles to be getting the game.”

Everett has also previously been critical of the transgender community, arguing that the transgender movement has “completely overshadowed” the campaign for gay rights.

Speaking about the possibility of American actress Scarlett Johansson potentially playing a trans role, he argued: “People forget that Hollywood is a business. So for example, when Scarlett Johansson was stopped from playing a trans role, there simply wasn’t a trans actress at that point big enough to sustain a 50-60 million dollar movie.

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“I found that was a mistake of the trans community because there were probably lots of other trans roles in the film that would have been played by trans actresses and Scarlett Johansson wasn’t going to be doing some portraits that was anti-trans. So I felt it was slightly blinkered attitude.”

Having previously hit out at cancel culture, calling it “judgmental and vindictive”, Everett also spoke on the controversy surrounding JK Rowling, saying: “I think it feels like the Stasi to be honest.

“I think it feels incredibly repressive. I don’t think it manages to achieve the aims that it’s after.

“For example, I’ve never met JK Rowling for example, and I’ve never read her books but I’m willing to bet that before this all happened she was not someone who is anti-transsexual, no, not remotely…but she might easily be now.”

Piers Morgan Uncensored airs every weekday on TalkTV at 8pm.

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