Blithe Spirit finished it's critically acclaimed Broadway run yesterday, and Rupert Everett took a moment to check in with the press in the U.K. where he's recently been seen on a television documentary about the romantic poet Lord Byron. "How I got to know Byron was in English class at school when I was about 14, and we were reading this book by Elizabeth Longford," he tells the Guardian (or rather, "smirks dutifully" to the Guardian). She tells this story of these two country vicars who go out one day and decide they're going to open up Byron's tomb and they break down the crypt and get inside and they open Byron's coffin and not only is he perfectly preserved but he has a gigantic erection, I remember thinking, 'How fabulous'."
He also muses on how his career might have played out if he were straight. " 'I'd be doing what Colin [Firth] and Hugh [Grant] do, I suppose.' Sean Penn's Oscar for playing Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the US, has been construed by some activists as akin to Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi – an actual gay actor could never have been cast. "Showbusiness is how it is," shrugs Everett." He allows that while Hugh Grant's fortune might be appealing, there is "another great thing about being gay, or at least old-school gay; you don't really need anything. You need a bedsit and a couple of pairs of trousers. That's the Kenneth Williams mentality and that's very good, very nice. Travel light, like a soldier. Until you adopt a family of turkey-basted kids, you don't need any more space."
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