“Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins: The Autobiography”–Rupert Everett Speaks

Everett, Rupert. “Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins”. Warner Books, 2006

Rupert Everett Speaks

Amos Lassen

Rupert Everett is a star but more than that he is an out gay movie and stage star. Some of you may have swooned when you first saw him in “Another Country” which began his rise to fame. He played gay when most actors would not go near a gay role and he began to win our hearts. It was back in 1984 when blue-eyed and swarthy Everett hit the screen with the tale of life in an English school. But his life, quite naturally began way before then having been born in 1959. His life is an odyssey in which he witnessed extraordinary events and was surrounded by extraordinary people. He saw the fall of Communism first hand; he was in Moscow when the Iron Curtain fell, He happened to be in Berlin when the wall came down and he was relaxing at home in Manhattan on that fateful September 11. His friends have numbered the rich and the famous, the beautiful people adopted him. He was friends with Warhol and Bianca (Jagger) and has made movies or had friendships with some of the most famous and influential women in the world. Among them are Donatella Versace, Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone and our Madonna. They are his friends and confidants.

His life in drama began at the bottom. He used to sweep the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has shared the screen with an ape and shared billing with Faye Dunaway. He has been and will always be the gay man with it all and for some reason we just can’t get enough of him. He is at home on the big screen, the little screen or the Shakespearean stage. He is classic and he s down to earth and he tells us all we want to know in his autobiography “Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins.” He doesn’t have to hold back, he has already announced his gayness to the world and he is proud with a somewhat arrogant twist. His arrogance disappears when his realness takes over and this book introduces you to the real Rupert Everett.

I have often wondered if Rupert Everett would have been as big a star had he not publicly come out. His talent is what matters not his sexuality but his coming out put him in a class of his own. He doesn’t really care that people know that he is gay because he has accepted himself, And being gay has not hurt his career any. His films read like a bestseller list: “Shakespeare in Love”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”. “The Madness of King George” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” to name a few.

Born in Norfolk, England and once expelled from school, he fought to be what he beloved himself to be. His fame actually began in Scotland when he began acting at the avant-garde Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre but like he tells us, it was “Another Country” that made people notice him. Along the way he was a model for Versace and Valentino, spent time idolizing the late Anthony Perkins (which actually possessed him and played cards with Christopher Isherwood, one of the great gay authors. He describes himself as a keen observer of human folly and the life he gives us in his book is many stories that come together to fashion his own life story. He writes of love and nostalgia, of glamour and fashion, of heartbreak and renewal and he gives us dish. He discusses the oddities of the upper class of Britain and the craziness of Hollywood and of his tales of the stars of the stage and the screen.

He can tell a story and he, indeed, has many to tell. He tells them with charm and with the same grace he seems to posses so much of. This is not just another movie star’s life story—this s the story of a movie star and how he interacted within the star system. He tells us some juicy tidbits but he does so with such finesse that it does not read like gossip but as products of an open heart .He defines his life by the people that have been in it and tells of his own addictions and shortcomings. Through it all he emerges as a fascinating guy who rose above all of his personal challenges and to me that is was makes to book so rich.

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