Rupert Everett makes his directorial debut with ‘The Happy Prince’, which hits cinemas today.
While the actor is probably best-renowned for his role as George in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, he gives a career best performance in ‘The Happy Prince’ (you can check out our review for the film here), so it may be his role as Oscar Wilde that the actor becomes synonymous with.
We asked Everett about first playing Wilde in David Hare’s play ‘The Judas Kiss’ back in 2013 and he tells us about the many years he spent working on the script for ‘The Happy Prince’.
When asked what Wilde would be like in the present day, Everett answered: “He couldn’t. It’s a difficult question, I think, because he’s a person who was in his era and really couldn’t have existed outside of his era.
“None of the issues that he was about were the same, so I think it’s difficult to imagine what kind of person he’d be. Short of him being delivered here in a time machine as himself, I think he’s a person who could only really be of that time, really. He wouldn’t be him.”
On Wilde himself, Everett said: “I don’t think he was a really haunted person, I think he attacked life with gusto.
“He’s a patron saint in a way, to me. He’s got this side of genius and then he’s got a very human side, and the human side is quite frail. It’s about ego and vanity and greed and all those things which we all have, and he’s destroyed by them, as is his art, so I think he’s a very appealing character. He’s like a clown in a way in his exile, he’s always performing on the street for people for drinks, his friends are all low lifes. It’s a very attractive story.”
You can watch the interview in full in the video above.