HomeEntertainmentRupert Everett Honored at Lovers Film Festival in Italy

Rupert Everett Honored at Lovers Film Festival in Italy


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Rupert Everett landed in Turin, Italy, on Thursday to collect the Star of the Mole, the special award given by the National Cinema Museum to personalities who have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema and society. The award — a pink star — is presented during the Lovers Film Festival, Europe’s oldest gay festival (this is its 39th edition), directed by Vladimir Luxuria, who says that “Rupert Everett was one of the first international stars to come out and fight for civil rights.”

In accepting the honor, Everett joins a list of previous honorees that includes the likes of Oliver Stone, Tim Burton, Malcolm McDowell, Monica Bellucci and many others.

The British actor, who turns 65 on May 29, came out publicly in 1989, five years after he made an indelible impression as a double agent in Marek Kanievska’s drama Another Country. The film was an adaptation of Julien Mitchell’s play of the same name, starring Everett and Colin Firth and inspired by the collegiate life of Guy Burgess, a British spy in the service of the Soviet Union. The film screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and the 40th anniversary of its release will be celebrated in Turin. 

At the Lovers Film Fest, Everett will also be on hand to present Michael Wildman’s The Scandalous Adventures of Lord Byron, which he narrates. THR Roma met up with Everett immediately after the award ceremony in Turin to discuss his love of Byron, directors he has enjoyed working with (and one he did not) and why he prefers the company of animals.

Lord Byron is considered one of the most romantic poets
, could you speak about him a little?
Lord Byron was an extraordinary and wonderful character. His life in London was very exciting. Today, a guy like him would have been in trouble — he would have been written off because he was having sex with his valet. He was certainly not a good person by today’s standards.

What do you like about your illustrious compatriot?
Byron has always fascinated me. Especially his appearance. It is amazing to imagine how someone like him was so attractive despite having a visible physical defect [he was born with a club foot]. For me, he is the most romantic character in history. And I also love his homosexual side. His last poem was for a boy named Lucas, with him in the Greek war against the Turks. Byron was very much in love with this boy without being in the slightest bit reciprocated. It was torturous yet Byron wrote his last poem to him. And it’s a very beautiful poem. And a very sad ending to his life.

Do you agree that the sensitivity of the film world to LGBTQ+ issues today has changed?
It certainly has, and very much so. And that is fortunate.

What does Another Country represent for you?
A lot of memories! It was my first film and I was very lucky. My friend was the producer. All the people in the film are still friends with each other. I think it is the most beautiful film of Marek Kaniewska, who has made only four films. And he has never made another film with this kind of theme. I don’t know why, because he really did a fantastic job. And I’m always happy that it was a film that spoke to my community and was really appreciated by the audience.

Would you do it again today since it also involved being labeled as a gay actor? 

Yes certainly!

What’s your relationship with Italian cinema?
I really regret not working in Italian cinema anymore. I tried a short time ago with Finally the Dawn by Saverio Costanzo. It was a film with very modern language. I really liked that screenplay. When I read it I met Saverio and desperately wanted to be in the film; however, in the end he chose Willem Dafoe. Too bad!

Do you like Turin?
I love it. I have been to Turin many times because I have friends from here and I also had a love affair here, in the 1980s, that lasted a year.

At the Lovers Film Festival you have presented your directorial film, The Happy Prince. Why have you directed only one film in your long career?
The Lovers is a beautiful and very friendly festival. It was a great experience. Why have I directed only one film? Well, I am currently trying to make a second film, but it is not easy to find the money. I’m always looking for funds for this project.

You already have a project to direct?
Yes. I have several, but at the moment it is difficult to make them.

Do you want to talk about them?
Not really, there is no point in talking about things that don’t happen.

Talking about the story might help you find the necessary funds.
No, it’s a bad idea. After 10 years, if someone asks you about this film, you’re forced to answer that it hasn’t been made yet because of lack of funding. It’s not nice at all. It’s only interesting to talk about it if a film is made.

So do you like to return to filmmaking?
Yes, I like it very much. My biggest regret is that it didn’t occur to me to do it before I was 50. If I had been younger, smarter and more thoughtful, I could have done a lot more. Now that I am 65, it is a little late. My directorial film took 10 years just to find the money. And it’s already been five years since I made it. So in theory it would be another 5 years away. To find myself at 70 years old saying, “Action!” is just not the best and I would probably have a heart attack right after saying it.

Which of the great directors you have worked with would you most like to work with again?
I love Ridley Scott. Napoleon is a film I loved even though it was quite difficult to make. His films are huge and very fast. You have to be very smart. I would love to work with him again. But also with Tim Burton and with Andrei Konchalovsky, who is very nice. I also liked Paul Schrader very much. I would actually work with everybody again. 

You never had any problems with any director?
Yes. With many. I hated Mike Newell and he hated me. In Dance With a Stranger he destroyed me. Because he told everyone that I was too difficult. And I was. And that it was not possible to work with me. It’s sad, because then he did Four Weddings and a Funeral, which I wanted to do but it wasn’t possible. We didn’t work well together.

Did your beauty matter a lot in your career?
I think a lot. I was lucky to be this type of young Englishman, with a pretty face and nice hair.

Even now?
No, I don’t think so now. I don’t like to look in the mirror. As a child I was very obsessed with my face and what it looked like. And after a certain moment I thought, enough. It’s better not to think about these things anymore.

Where do you live now?
In Western England, near a town called Salisbury. Where the Novichok affair took place. Where a Russian spy was killed by the Russians. 

Do you like living there?
Winter in England is a bit sad, because it has been raining every day since November. I live in a valley that always floods. I am happy, though. I have two dogs, a Labrador and a spaniel, their names are Pluto and Harry. I prefer animals to human beings. This is the meaning of my life today. And I live with my mother, who is 92 years old and suffers from dementia. I work when I can, I write, and last year I did theater.

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