Rupert Everett never made a secret of his sexuality, which is pretty noteworthy during the last couple of decades where gay men and women are routinely not cast in straight roles for fear that the audience won’t believe the chemistry between heterosexual characters if one of the actors is openly homosexual (ridiculous, no? I mean, after all they’re actors). Well, Everett pretty much bombs that idea to hell. He’s a gay man who can play straight roles better than most straight men. He positively smolders on screen when cast opposite female love interests, as well as in the films where he’s played a gay character. If his career has suffered for the fact that he never remained ambiguously or fully closeted, well, all I can say is he hasn’t done half bad. So, let’s take a look at his body… of work… in historical costume flicks!
Another Country (1984) – Guy Bennett
Rupert Everett and Cary Elwes are angsty intellectual lovers! Boys engaging in homosexual shenanigans at a college-that-is-totally-not-Eton! There’s Colin Firth as a young Marxist idealist! I know this is a Serious Film(TM) but I feel compelled to point out: RUPERT EVERETT/CARY ELWES. BTW, this wouldn’t be the last time Firth and Everett show up in the same movie…
The Madness of King George (1994) – Prinny (George, Prince of Wales)
At a time in his career when he was at pretty much peak sexiness, Rupert Everett was cast as the fat, hedonistic, aging playboy Prince of Wales in The Madness of King George. We’ve discussed the movie here, and if you haven’t watched it STOP EVERYTHING AND WATCH IT NOW. In a cast packed to the rafters with stellar talent, it’s Everett’s sympathetic and fully ridiculous performance as “Prinny” that is one of the best in the movie.
Shakespeare in Love (1998) – Christopher Marlowe
Fun fact: Rupert Everett was uncredited in what amounts to a handful of scenes in this wildly successful film. I wish that Marlowe had more of a presence, but obviously that would have made the film far too much about Marlowe who was the legit enfant terrible of the early modern English playwrights, and less about trying to make Shakespeare the bad boy. I’ll overlook the fact that Everett is about a decade-and-a-half too old to be playing the young badass who died in a barroom brawl at the tender age of 29, but eh, whatever. It’s Rupert Everett!
An Ideal Husband (1999) – Lord Goring
The first of two Oscar Wilde stories filmed in the mid-to-late ’90s and featuring Everett, An Ideal Husband is fun and flirty. And the costumes are fabulous. We’ve already covered the film here, so go check out the full review with costume analysis. In the meantime, I’ll just leave this photo here as a preview of the insane levels of man candy in this film.
Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999) – Oberon
Ok, so it’s not REALLY a historical movie, but how can you not include Oberon in a list of costume flicks featuring Rupert Everett??
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) – Algernon
The second Oscar Wilde adaptation featuring Everett, and another pairing with Colin Firth. Like its predecessor, An Ideal Husband, this film offers wall-to-wall Hot Men in Suits Action, interspersed with some lovely belle epoque women’s fashions.
To Kill a King (2003) – Charles I
I need to track this film down because men in big, fat-bottomed wigs? HELL TO THE YES. Costumes look pretty damn good, too. Tim Roth plays Cromwell, and Dougray Scott plays Fairfax, and we really need to devote some Man Candy Mondays to both of those guys now that I think of it…
Stage Beauty (2004) – Charles II
Another underrated film that is well worth watching, this is the second film that features both Claire Danes and Rupert Everett (the other being the also-wildly-underrated Stardust). Everett does a stint as Charles II, but this time plays him as more of a comedic character with a penchant for cross-dressing. Something which is NOT to be missed.
Sherlock Holmes & The Case of the Silk Stocking (2004) – Sherlock Holmes
Here we see Everett back to playing the suave, sophisticated heroic type that he does so beautifully. I have a sneaking suspicion that this was Everett’s screen test for a possible turn as James Bond, as he pulls off the most James Bond-y Sherlock I’ve ever seen on film. I think it’s the whole “OMG, RUPERT EVERETT IS UNAMBIGUOUSLY GAY AND WE CAN’T RISK THAT IN A BOND FILM” bullshit that means we will likely never get any closer than this film to seeing him play Bond. Bummer. I’d watch the shit out of Rupert Everett as James Bond. Of course, we all know that women are not the target demographic for the Bond franchise, so I guess it’s a moot point.
Shit. Now I’m depressed.
Hysteria (2011) – Lord Edmund St. John-Smythe
A fictional story about the invention of the vibrator and a couple of REALLY good-looking men who make it their mission to be Very Scientific about relieving feminine hysteria through careful uterine massage techniques.
A Royal Night Out (2015) – George V
This film is set to premiere in the U.K. on May 15, 2015, and there’s no U.S. release date yet. We will probably have to wait for it to be released on video before we see anything of Rupert Everett as George V, playing the father to the two Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
Did we forget your favorite Rupert Everett film? Tell us in the comments!
One of my favorite so-awful-it’s-fabulous movies is “Arthur the King,” a made-for-tv schlockfest from 1985. I taped this off the tv as a kid and watched it over and over. The cast is amusing: Malcolm McDowell as Arthur, a very young Rupert Everett as Lancelot, Candice Bergen as Morgan le Fay, and a virtually unknown Liam Neeson as a barbarian they couldn’t bother to write dialog for (just speak gibberish, the director must have said). The plot is silly, the costumes are dreadful, and the dialog is ridiculous. And my inner 9-year-old still adores it. (and I still have the tape I made…)
OH MY GOD THAT LOOKS AMAZING.
It’s truly horrendously bad! And I still love it!
I see it’s only available on VHS… I still have a VHS player somewhere… I think I need this.
oops. I think you mean George VI in that last film
You missed Shrek II ;oP
Wasn’t he a bit too tall to be portraying George VI?
I’ve been spending a blissful rainy afternoon scrolling through your MCM posts only to spit up my tea as (I think I read that right) 6’4″ Rupert Everett as 5’4″ Charles I of England??? Really? What, did they scale up the furniture? Hmmmm…..on the other hand, how bad could a movie featuring Everett, Roth and Scott be?
He was only 2 inches taller than the historical Charles II, so, comedic performance or not, Rupert as Charles in ‘Stage Beauty’ is pretty much perfect casting.
I read the reason the Parliamentarians assumed he’d be easy to catch after Worcester, was how striking & of-of-place he would look to pretty much everyone ; some of the only people of comparative size to him were his cousin, Rupert of the Rhine who was of the same height, or thereabouts, & brother, James II who was a bare 6”, or close enough for it to not matter- to add to Charles’ height issues, he had more Mediterranean-like looks & black hair, from his mothers’ family, who were French & Italian (Protestant & Puritan England was not exactly a great place for the ‘popish’ & ‘foreign-looking’ at this time), & was described as ‘swarthy’ in his WANTED posters [James had lighter colouring & a more slender build]- & then there was the feet issue… apparently the poor guy had to put up with the largest borrowed footwear available during his escape, which were pretty much always too small for him- yet, he managed to be hidden over the days & weeks after the battle- the Wiki article, showing the map for his escape route is madness
Apparently, many of the people who hid him were secret Catholics, or people with Catholic leanings, along with fellow Anglicans- it’s said these experiences were the reason for his sympathy to England’s minority Catholic population, & death-bed conversion.
I’ve not been able to find ‘To Kill A King’ anywhere- not Youtube, Netflix- anywhere. I’ve only ever seen the trailer, but I would love to see Rupert, Dougray & Tim’s performances.
Believe it or not, Charles & James (& Rupert) owed their height more to female than male relations- their Danish grandmother Anne, & great-grandmother, Mary of Scots, who was like 5’7, which was an impressive height for a woman back then- there are only a couple of historical women whose height gets commented on- Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose effigy shows she was tall & big-boned, & Boudiccea, who was said to be tall, with a harsh voice & long red hair that went to her knees.
Sorry for the tangent, lol.
“Dellamorte Dellamore” (1994), not at all a period movie, it is in fact inspired by the very popular Italian comic Dylan Dog… the sexiest Ruppert Ever(ett)!!!!!