Daily Mail - Daily Mail Weekend Magazine : 2020-09-26

NEWS : 4 : 4

NEWS

People said it would end in tears when Rupert Everett (and a Brazilian accountant called Henrique) moved in with his ‘very straight’ mother –– but, as his new book comes out, he tells Jenny Johnston why it’s been quite the opposite... LEGACY weekend 4 W hen Rupert Everett was 18 and his dear mum was worried about where life was taking him, she packed him off to Paris to correct his course. ‘My parents thought I was going off the rails, so they thought the best thing to do would be to send me to a good French family so I could learn French and straighten myself up,’ he explains. He found himself living in a delightful arrondisse­ment, and on the first afternoon the madame of the house sent him for a walk so he could get his bearings. What happened next is very Rupert Everett. ‘In the Bois de Boulogne I found a truck with a transsexua­l sex worker living in it. I made friends with her and I kind of lived in her world. All plans for learning the language and going to drawing classes were sort of sidelined.’ So that went well. Suffice to say, Rupert – actor, writer, singer, disappoint­ed diva – never wanted to go home, geographic­ally or otherwise. He became a citizen of the world, a free spirit, flirting with the realms of fashion, film and, latterly, writing. He couldn’t Oscar Wilde, his great hero, but he could die trying. Obviously, the path he took meandered, but it did take in fame and fortune. He started off in a very British way with a much-acclaimed performanc­e as Guy Bennett, a spy loosely based on Guy Burgess, in scampi and chips? Can there be a less 1984’s Another Country, but then he sexy dish? More pertinentl­y, why are was wooed by Hollywood and is perhaps we talking about how, aged 61, he best known for starring as Julia now lives with his mother in Wiltshire Roberts’s gay friend in the 1997 romcom and could not be happier? My Best Friend’s Wedding. ‘It’s odd, isn’t it?’ he agrees. ‘You He was once the ultimate gay best spend so much of your life wanting friend in real life, too. He became to get away from somewhere, then mates with Madonna (and you have this need to come then fell out with her back. I’ve been thinking when he called her of that a lot this an ‘old whiny week. I’ve been barmaid’ in his walking here autobiogra­phy). because it’s He got a house where we used in LA. He had to come when I a 20-year feud was a child. You with that nice come back to the Colin Firth (who things you used to he said was boring). run from. I certainly He did the drugs have. I’ve been and the sex. With men looking back and everything and women. Did he Rupert in My Best Friend’s seems rosetinted really have an affair Wedding with Julia Roberts now. I’m very with Paula Yates for six years, while nostalgic about the past I rejected.’ she was with Sir Bob Geldof? Yes. ‘It He first moved away in 1984, and didn’t matter to me who I was having says for ten, 15 years, he ‘rarely came sex with,’ he admits. ‘Sex was freedom, back’. He could have stayed away for or it felt like it. Sex was the bottle good. Plenty of people in his circle you could throw through the window did. ‘That’s a thing about my generation. to smash everything up.’ In those days it was quite alright So far, so racy. So why are we not to see your family again. Lots of doing this interview in a pub in people just disappeare­d. At the end Northumber­land, after he’s spent the of the 90s, though, my dad got ill and morning stomping along Hadrian’s there’s a choice you have to make. Do Wall? Why is he in sensible walking you take part or get further away?’ boots, with a dog at his feet, ordering He chose the former. He came In 1896 Alfred Nobel left more than 32 million Swedish krona in his will to establish the awards that bear back – physically and emotionall­y – in stages. ‘My dad was a great traveller so I did a few holidays with him. We became friends.’ A couple of years ago, with his father gone, he did an extraordin­ary thing. He moved back in with his mum to be as close as possible in the final chapter of her life. He brought with him his partner, a Brazilian accountant called Henrique, and they divided the house so that they could live separate lives, yet together. Obviously, it sounds like a reality show in the making since he’s known for being a theatrical sort while his mother is, in his words, ‘upper middle class, very straight. We are complete opposites. She’s a Brexiteer. She likes Boris. She even likes Trump. People thought it would end in tears. But it hasn’t. Quite the opposite.’ He adores his mother, Sara, however much she infuriates him. She adores him back. He asks if I have children and when I say yes, teenagers now, he winces. ‘The relationsh­ip between kids and mothers is a very sad one. The first six, seven, eight years, you love your mother so much. And then you really kind of give her such a cold shoulder.’ But in your case you came back? ‘Yes, and it’s funny the way it has all developed. You do suddenly age, she did and I did – like ten years in the ‘I was afraid of ending up in tie-dyed T-shirts at 70’ MYMOTHERTH­INKS I’M THE BEST ACTORINTHE­WORLD ...AT LEAST SOMEONE be