Books | Madonna | Rupert Everett

Rupert Everett Dishes About the Divas

Rupert Everett calls the effort to stay in the closet in Hollywood "too exhausting" in an interview with the UK's Daily Mail, slamming the industry's discrimination against gay actors in a reference to one-time co-star Hugh Grant: "The difference is, one of us is straight and one is gay. The straight one gets to walk down a red carpet with a beautiful girl and everything works out and the gay one has to back-pedal and do independent movies."

RupertWhen he's not acting or crusading against the local Starbucks, Everett is writing. Everett has just published a tell-all memoir, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins: The Autobiography, in which he opens up about his relationships with Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone, and Madonna, among others.

On Julia Roberts: "There is a male quality to the female superstar. There has to be.

If a girl is going to survive in Hollywood . . . Flocks of executive seagulls will try to take her and drop her onto the rocks.

"She must learn to [bleep] them before they [bleep] her if she is to survive, so she becomes a kind of she-man, a beautiful woman with invisible balls."

On Gianni Versace's funeral and Madonna: "I arrived early and found Donatella alone on a couch, wearing a silver dress, wrapped up in a thousand memories, clouded by tragedy. ‘I’m so depressed,’ she said simply. ‘Me too,’ I replied, but mine was cosmetic by comparison.

After supper, a cluster of divas, including Madonna, sat around Donatella in the courtyard. The party moved around us like the sea. Our table was a rock and waves of fruits de mer tried to crash against it and join our group. The undertow on this particular stretch of bitch was strong. Madonna smiled graciously to all and sundry, secure in the knowledge that someone else would do the dirty work and give any unwanted jellyfish ‘the old heave-ho’.

Those not welcome were swept back out to sea by the polite but firm dismissal of Gwyneth Paltrow or the glum monosyllabic reply of Guy Ritchie, Madonna’s new boyfriend.

Unbeknown to most of us, Guy and Madonna were having a baby. Guy’s body curved around his princess in acquiescence, but he was not so accommodating to some of her old chums.

This night marked the beginning of the end for Madonna and her younger brother, Christopher Ciccone. They had been inseparable in childhood and she had taken him with her to the material world, where he had provided a solid raft in the shark-infested waters.

He had a blunt, aggressive manner, and he often looked as though he was laughing at you, particularly when he was drunk, but underneath he was vulnerable and funny. To know her at all you had to know him.

But he and Guy were from different planets, and in a way the one’s success relied on the other not being there.

Others were also on the way out. Guy was not particularly comfortable with queens, and so it was a last call for a lot of the disco bunnies and club-mix queens who made up the fabric of Madonna’s mantle."

More excerpts after the jump...

On The Next Best Thing: "I got a call from Sherry Lansing of Paramount, the producer of huge hits such as Fatal Attraction. She had a film named The Next Best Thing.

It was a sickly script about a nasty humourless woman and her lovely gay best friend, who was funny, supportive, had great dress sense, everything a man was not, and could break into a show tune at any given moment.

He was also that rarity in the homosexual community, a NPB (non-practising b*****) who gave up the awkward matter of sex when all his friends died. By page 23 of the script, these two revolting people decided to have a baby. I turned it down flat. But Lansing said that if I agreed to take part she would green light the movie. What’s more, I could even approve the casting. My agent suggested Madonna for the woman’s part and I was ecstatic.

The studio was less enthusiastic. There was a kiss-of-death theory about Madonna in films. But we pushed for her and Lansing eventually said that if that’s what I wanted, then she’d go with it."

On Sharon Stone and Basic Instinct: "One night at the Golden Globes, she told me she was making the sequel to Basic Instinct and had suggested to David Cronenberg (the director then attached to the film) that I should play the male lead.

I went to meet him the next day, feeling pretty excited because he was a director I really admired.

We got along well and he left the lunch to call MGM, the studio making the picture, to inform them that he had found his actor. At this point all hell broke loose.

My agent was told that, to all intents and purposes, a homosexual was a pervert in the eyes of America and the world would never accept me in the role.

For about a week, there were lots of transatlantic phone calls. Then my agency started weighing up the pros and cons.

They had a business to think about and MGM versus Rupert was a no-brainer. By the following Monday morning, the whole saga had blown over without a trace.

Sharon, on the other hand, never gives up. 'Honey,' she said. 'I can't believe what's happening. I'm with my pastor and we agree that we should stop the film and sue the studio. What do you think?'

I lay back on my bed, my head spinning. I searched for a cigarette, had a shot of vodka and a couple of painkillers. Suddenly, for the first time in my career, I felt totally overwhelmed and began to cry."

This book promises to be the dishiest thing we've read in a while...

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins: The Autobiography [amazon]
Sex, Fame, Madonna and Me [daily mail]
My Life with the Divas, Part 1 [daily mail]
Madonna - before she became the Material Girl [daily mail]

You may have missed...
Rupert Everett: Starbucks is like a Cancer [tr]

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  1. The book sounds like a revealing and dishy read but with all due respect to Rupert, the difference between him and a Hugh Grant could be talent. Rupert just isn't talented enough as an actor, perhaps. At least I don't think so. And in the thousand and one variables that make one man a star and another not, many things unknown go into the final mix. Not just gay or straight.

    Posted by: me | Sep 5, 2006 10:03:04 AM

  2. I have always loved Julia. People have been saying she's a supreme b*tch behind the scenes for years, but she's just surviving. People said the same about Madonna forever. Everyone's so intimidated by strong, successful women.

    I've always dug Rupert. I mean, he's by far no fave of mine, but he carries himself well. Seems he's a decent writer as well. He writes like he talks. Shame that, having blown up after Best Friend's Wedding, he's always been branded "that gay actor."

    Posted by: Bobby Alexander | Sep 5, 2006 10:04:35 AM

  3. I loved reading the "blurps" in this thread. It was most interesting and I would really want to buy this book now.


    Posted by: Bryce | Sep 5, 2006 10:07:07 AM

  4. This is some of the worst writing ever. "Our table was a rock and waves of fruits de mer tried to crash against it and join our group. The undertow on this particular stretch of bitch was strong." That's just awful.

    Posted by: Adam | Sep 5, 2006 10:28:59 AM

  5. Thanks for giving us the highlights, Andy. And for the comments that Grant is more talented than Everett, that's baloney. Go rent "Another Country" or "Dance with a Stranger" or any of Everett's earlier films and you'll see that he's just as good or better than a lightweight one-note actor like Grant. Yes, homophobia in Hollywood IS the main reason guys like Everett doesn't get the plum roles. And people like Travolta and Cruise feel the need to stay in the celluloid closet.

    Posted by: Ray | Sep 5, 2006 10:32:49 AM

  6. When I lived in NYC I saw Rupert walking his dog regularly on Sunday mornings outside the Hudson Corner Cafe (this was 6 years ago, not sure if it's still there?). His writing matches the attitude he exuded :- egotistical and self indulgent.

    Posted by: Jethro | Sep 5, 2006 10:39:40 AM

  7. I couldn't disagree more with Adam. I think Everett is a stronger writer than most celebrities with book deals. Instead of trying to punch holes, gather a message, a voice from the writer. It's missing in our sphere (and I) find it refreshing.

    Posted by: midnight lounge | Sep 5, 2006 10:42:52 AM

  8. Wow! Snobby much? The blurbs convince me I don't need to read the book.

    Posted by: KJ | Sep 5, 2006 10:44:42 AM

  9. This sounds like a fun, dishy read but the whole sea-life metaphor about the Versace funeral is lame and in bad taste.

    Posted by: mp | Sep 5, 2006 11:00:34 AM

  10. I don' think his writing comes of snobbish at all. He is writing as he speaks, which is very refreshing in a celebrity autobiography that is usually written by a ghost writer. I don't even find him coming off snobbish.

    Posted by: Bryce | Sep 5, 2006 11:36:57 AM

  11. His writing is cringe-inducing.

    Posted by: jmg | Sep 5, 2006 11:39:51 AM

  12. I should find this book rather entertaining. I look forward to picking up a copy.

    Everett is a talented guy. Sure, some who may find Grant a _more_ talented person may feel that way only because he's been given a larger number of roles to flex to. Hollywood is incredibly homophobic despite the fact it may seem counter-intuitive.

    Posted by: Rey | Sep 5, 2006 11:54:10 AM

  13. Hugh has gotten visibly older and I like that about him. Rupert on the other hand, has succumbed to some facial restructuring and now has a face that looks lopsided.

    Posted by: pinstripesboy | Sep 5, 2006 12:05:30 PM

  14. Well, his comment about Guy Ritchie chasing off Christopher Ciccone and the other gays in Madonna's life rather explains why she's kinda sucked creatively since 2000....

    Posted by: Ben | Sep 5, 2006 12:17:59 PM

  15. Amazing, if you read the comments, how split everyone is regarding Rupert Everett and how strongly opinioned they are about it...

    As per Guy Ritchie, I've never met the lad but I can tell I do not like him. A lot of people in the industry, unrelated of course, have commented on his homophobia. Apparently there is some credence to those rumors. Yes, I have to agree as well that since 2000 Madonna's creativity has lapsed severely (with the exception of her latest work - but isn't her recent producer, Stuart Price of Les Rhythms Digitales, gay?). Ray of Light was, in my opinion, her last great effort. Perhaps she needs to reconsider this misogynistic presence in her life...

    Posted by: Cory | Sep 5, 2006 12:37:42 PM

  16. This man cannot write. His novels have all been painful, and passages of this effort-- like the appalling and already quoted "fruits de mer" business--read like embarrassing parodies of inept gay tell-alls. Stop him already.

    Posted by: Steve | Sep 5, 2006 12:42:09 PM

  17. Um. I don't want to seem antagonistic, but it really irritates me when people don't quote their sources correctly, and seem to sensationalize what is already salacious and gratuitous. The excerpt printed about Madonna and the much-rumored Versace bitchfest took place on the eve of the new millenium. It was a party that was completely unrelated to Gianni's funeral. To imply that these human beings would behave in such a way at a funeral hints at your own desire to perpetuate the worst of the Hollywood stereotypes that only gay people are fond of. Please go easy on the salad dressing when it's already seasoned.

    Posted by: Alex | Sep 5, 2006 1:03:41 PM

  18. More bitchy comments! What a surprise! It's amazing that gay people seem to get the brunt of criticism on this board. Whenever the topic is about a straight person you want to service them or worship them. When it comes to a gay person, they are this and that. Go SHOOT YOURSELF if you can’t stand being gay!

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 5, 2006 1:11:15 PM

  19. Everett is a one-trick pony compared to Grant.

    His failure as an actor has nothing to do with his sexual proclivities. The man is a cardboard cutout. Perhaps he should try putting down the glass of vodka if he's still serious about a career in film.

    Posted by: David H | Sep 5, 2006 1:45:46 PM

  20. He was so bad in Separate Lies. His lack of talent was never more obvious in a cast that included Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson. What acting promise??

    Posted by: gabe | Sep 5, 2006 2:32:03 PM

  21. Whether people like or dislike Everett's style of writing, you have to give him credit for knowing how to write.

    I'd like to see 10 of his contemporaries jot down a sentence, or two, that's worth reading.

    Posted by: Steven. | Sep 5, 2006 2:44:09 PM

  22. Gross.

    Posted by: Paul | Sep 5, 2006 2:48:47 PM

  23. If you can call his style of writing writing, then he yes, he can write.

    Posted by: patrick | Sep 5, 2006 3:02:12 PM

  24. Actually, I find Hugh and Rupert to be of equal talent. And I do have the same opinion as Rupert, that given all things equal, if you can show up with a woman on your arm, you're more likely to succeed. It's kind of like in the 50s when if you weren't married you didn't get the raise/promotion (presumably because you had a family to raise and needed the extra cash. Not because you were more talented). And i do believe Hollywood is homophobic -- despite all the gays in authority. You don't find many leading gay actors, other than Ian McKellan. Any "gay movie" has gay-for-pay straight actors who are "stretching" their craft.

    Posted by: Roger | Sep 5, 2006 4:18:48 PM

  25. Can't wait to read it!!

    Posted by: Talldarkman | Sep 5, 2006 4:19:59 PM

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