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Rupert Everett On Playing Oscar Wilde: “I Feel Very Touched By His Brand Of Genius And Stupidity”

The actor wrote and will be starring in a movie about the Irish writer later this year.

Rupert Everett is really taking his admiration of Oscar Wilde to the next level.

The actor is not only currently portraying Wilde in the play The Judas Kiss in Toronto, which will make its way to New York City later this year, but is also planning to star in a film about the playwright that he wrote himself.

The movie, which will take a look at Wilde’s life in exile, is set to begin filming in September, but Everett says it’s been eight years in the making due to his trouble securing financing for it.

“The sad thing for me was, if I had written it probably three years before, I would have found it easier,” he told the Canadian press. “But I was past my sell-by date, so it just wasn’t that easy. I was very lucky to have theatre as the next string to my bow because everything else kind of folded up on me.”

The 56-year-old actor was perhaps best known as Julia Roberts’ gay best friend in 1997’s My Best Friend’s Wedding, but says being open about his sexuality may have hurt his career.

“There was a great price to pay for it, because while being gay almost made my career, it almost became bigger than my career was,” Everett continued. “So it was quite difficult to become detached from that. But I would never have done anything differently. I would hate to personally live in secret.”

Everett said it was his portrayal of Wilde in The Judas Kiss that helped prove to people he could play the writer in the film as well.

“I feel very touched … by his brand of genius and stupidity, the mixture of the two,” the actor said about Wilde. “Because he was one of the cleverest men of his era and yet also he was a kind of typical star in a way, in that fame and success blinded him, slightly, at the pinnacle of his success.”

You can buy tickets to see Everett in The Judas Kiss here.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.