What do we want? No more Rupert Everett on TV! When do we want it? Now!


Rupert Everett once told me that he hoped, after his death, to be thrown on a bonfire. That is to say, he hoped that his body would be thrown on a bonfire. He wasn’t talking about Hell; he also told me: “I am not a Catholic. I was raised Catholic, but I think Catholicism is an abomination of the Christian message.

I didn’t believe him. You know how Catholics are. They never really stop. There is certainly nothing Protestant about Rupert Everett. He has none of his polite jubilation, nor does he get rid of his fascination with hollow masses, trips to Lourdes and posthumous fires. I think the concept of the symbolic communion wafer is far too orderly and distinguished for him. He is a man of blood and bones.

Other memorable things Rupert Everett said to me: “I hate how London is turning into some kind of Monegasque tax haven, full of manicures from Chinese oligarchs” and “I tried to tweet twice, but it was useless. I tried to say something about Paul McCartney, but I misspelled it.

I hope anyone who saw this article online and stopped reading after the first paragraph (choosing, inexplicably, not to purchase a subscription) will come away with the impression that Rupert Everett and I discussed corpses, Bonfires, Taxes and Twitter at a Cocktail Party. Maybe in Paris. Or in an underground sex club in Berlin.

Rupert Everett certainly loves Berlin’s underground sex clubs. Or he did. There is an anecdote in his memoirs Missing years which begins – and if you can suggest a better opening gambit for an anecdote, I’ll give you £500 – “On my way home I pop into one of my favorite bars for a drink. Unbeknownst to me, it’s naked Sunday.

If there’s a person alive who would stop reading at this point, I don’t want to know about them. (I won’t tell you how the story goes, but don’t imagine Rupert’s pants staying up.)

No, however, that’s not where we met. I have never been to an underground sex club in Berlin. Although I once went to a sex club in Vauxhall and was impressed with how well behaved everyone was. Etiquette was fine: all manner of spanking, handcuffing, and debasement are welcome, as long as you ask nicely first. (It wasn’t really in the debasement, it was under a railroad arch.)

Anyway, Rupert Everett and I met at a respectable West End restaurant where I interviewed him for a newspaper. That was years ago, but I had already been in love with him for a good few decades. When we met he was over 50, but looking at his face closely I guessed that parts of him were getting younger. (I’m not judging. Knowing the desire for rejuvenation, I turned 34 on my last birthday and 35 the year before. In the race between my lie and Rupert Everett’s healthy skin care regimenI still have hope that one day we can go to school together.)

Nonetheless, there was a time when Rupert Everett was 25 and I was 11. That year saw the release of the first 15-rated movie I’ve seen underage: Another Country, the wonderful screen adaptation of Julian Mitchell from his play on Guy Burgess, in whose bizarre beauty and stunning charisma as Rupert Everett in a heartbreaking tale of gay love, corporal punishment, betrayal and exile proved profoundly formative. (At the time of my interview, he was playing a gray, happy-go-lucky Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss, another heartbreaking tale of gay love, physical punishment, betrayal and exile, which was equally brilliant but far from so sexy.)

The Comfort of Strangers, starring Rupert Everett and his late friend Natasha Richardson, is the first movie I’ve ever seen on a date. His Blitz magazine cover, all black and white with bruised lips and a helpless stare, was the first photo I taped to my bedroom wall. The Vortex, in which he took on the childish, coke-addicted lead role that Noël Coward himself played in the original production, was the first play I ever bought tickets for with my own money.

In between, Rupert Everett went out of style and did a bit of mischief, but he wrote extremely enjoyable books, retained his irresistible charisma, and The Judas Kiss was a performance of impressive brilliance despite the fact that, Rupert told me, “We’ve been doing this since September and I feel like an overused vagina.”


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