London: Hollywood star Rupert Everett has revealed he lost on "three or four" big films because of his sexual orientation. The "My Best Friend's Wedding" star called the film industry "aggressively heterosexual, which treats gay artistes as "second-class citizens".
"There's tons of roles that I haven't got for lots of different reasons, some of them probably for not being a good enough actor or doing a lousy audition, all that counts. But there were three or four big films, when I was successful, that the director and the other actors wanted me to be in and that I was absolutely blocked from by a studio, just for the fact of being gay. That does absolutely happen," Everett said in an interview with the Press Association.
"That does absolutely happen. But at the same time it has been the making of me as well. The struggle that has forced me to have has been great, in a way. I think my career as a writer would not have happened if I had been heterosexual, active, working non-stop," he added.
The 59-year-old actor, who will next be seen playing Oscar Wilde in "The Happy Prince," said the problems he faced in Hollywood helped him to relate to his role as the gay Irish writer.
"My position of working in this aggressively heterosexual milieu of show business has definitely made me feel kind of parallel (to Wilde). Of course, I haven't been put in prison and subjected to hard labour and I haven't died from it but I have been constantly on the back foot, really, in my career as a gay actor.
"...For gay performers there is no, or very little, back and forth. In other words, the straights can play all the gay characters they want but the gays don't get much of a chance to play any straight characters because, as far as this status quo is concerned, we are still gay and no matter how macho you are, they will just still think of you probably as a gay," he said.