Rupert Everett is 'drawn to the fall of Oscar Wilde'

Rupert Everett is 'drawn to the fall of Oscar Wilde'

Rupert Everett has always been drawn to "the fall of Oscar Wilde".

The 58-year-old actor stars as the iconic Irish author in the new movie 'The Happy Prince', which details the fall of the 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' author, and he's admitted to being more interested in that aspect of Wilde's life rather than his "glorious side".

Everett - who also writes and directs the film - told The Hollywood Reporter: "I was always less interested in the glorious side of his life and the success. I was always much more drawn to the fall of Oscar Wilde.

"I always found it a very romantic and tragic story. It's one of the great stories of the end of the 19th Century.

"I think it shows the tragedy of Wilde, his fall through pride. And his foolishness. That's extremely human.

"And touching. And fascinating. I suppose another thing is that I find some of the [film] portraits of Wilde to be sanitised and I wanted a more warts-and-all portrait of him."

Wilde was arrested at the peak of his fame and sentenced to two years' hard labour for "sodomy and gross indecency", and he subsequently went into a self-imposed exile of bitter poverty in Italy and France.

Everett thinks Wilde was the "beginning of the gay movement" and said his persecution gives him "a lot of strength" to see how far the world has come.

The British star - who revealed he was gay in 1989 - said: "Wilde is the beginning of the gay movement. Homosexuality wasn't really something that was spoken about, it wasn't really a word until after Oscar Wilde's death.

"And the Oscar Wilde-ers. The LGBT movement very much starts with Wilde. I think it's incredibly pertinent and I think it can only give everybody, anyway it gives me, a lot of strength to see where we've come to compared to what happened to him."