Genre: Autobiography, film, glbt
narrative style: first person, mostly chronological
Synopsis: Everett recounts his life in film and theatre with amusing vividness. This takes the reader from the very beginning to the Hollywood years and beyond. Full of vignettes and asides about various stars and directors.
I’ve been a fan of Rupert Everett since I was a teenager and saw Another Country and Dance with a Stranger in close succession – both of which feature stunning performances from Everett. Even though his career has been patchy – to say the least – when he is good, he is very good. Of course, he is also intensely outspoken (as his recent comments about gay marriage show) and so it could be assumed that this would be an exciting read.
And so it was. Everett is a consummate story teller. His tales are full of vivid detail and are often at his own expense. He spares himself no humiliation in describing his own diva tendencies and ability to choose the wrong script. Where he is most amusing is in his descriptions of the stars that he met and worked with. (Who’d have thought that the cocky arrogance that led to Live Aid was due to Geldof literally having a big one.) There were a number of laugh out loud moments. This was delightfully camp and intelligently witty.
There are also a number of tender moments. Everett’s description of his relationship with Paula Yates, for example, was particularly poignant as was his description of a holiday with his ageing father. Everett certainly knows how to draw the reader in and there were times when this felt like an intimate chat with a good friend.
However, there is a limit. This is very much a Hollywood memoir and it is great as far as that goes. You are left with a feeling that there is more to Everett than this but you aren’t going to get to see it. And maybe that is fair enough. After all, we are only the audience and this is only one more great performance.