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]
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Rupert Everett: Starbucks is like a Cancer [tr]