Key to success is go with flow, actor says



Vince Bucci/getty images


Actor Rupert Everett lends his voice to Prince Charming in Shrek The Third.


In his 2006 memoir Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins, actor Rupert Everett revealed wild, somewhat sordid and remarkably candid aspects of his personal life prior to and during his 25 years in show business.

Everett detailed his time as a male prostitute, drug-addled younger years, failures and successes as he attempted to break into acting, as well as friendships with a long list of art and entertainment world luminaries such as Andy Warhol, Julia Roberts and Madonna.

The book revealed what his friends already knew — Rupert Everett enjoyed living large.

With roles in box office successes such as My Best Friend’s Wedding, Shakespeare In Love and the second and third Shrek films (in which he’s the voice of Prince Charming), Everett has carved out a prosperous niche as a suave character actor.

He’s also notoriously outspoken when the subject of the current Hollywood system is raised.

Which is probably why he enjoys playing the prickly prince in Shrek The Third.

The Shrek trilogy, he feels, has been profitable and well-received by critics because the films have been built on a satirical premise that rips into the fabric of surreal Hollywood, much like his autobiography.

“The more frenetic we’re becoming with show business, entertainment, even football, there’s a kind of love-hate feeling going I think between the public and the entertainment world,” Everett says. “Half is loving, but almost half is hating, too, because it’s almost rubbing (the public’s) noses in things they can’t have. I think Shrek hit that button somehow.”

It’s a feeling Everett has for his livelihood, as well. He explains that time spent off-camera working on his two novels in the 1980s and 1990s, and, more recently, a year-and-a-half hiatus to write Red Carpets, offered relief from the actor’s grind.

But he’s quick to point out that there are worse jobs. Having weathered many professional storms — including publicly coming out in the late ’80s without inflicting any major damage to his career — Everett says the key to surviving Hollywood is to learn how to manage your own career cycles.

“The art of it is to be successful when you’re successful, but be a failure when you’re a failure. When you have a successful head with a failure career, that’s when everything starts going wrong and you start seeing things wrong. I think it can be a head f---.”

• For more of Chris Atchison’s interview with Rupert Everett, go to