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    Rupert Everett fears free speech is being stifled by a climate he compares to East Germany’s Stasi

    Rupert Everett fears free speech is being stifled by a climate he compares to East Germany’s Stasi regime

    Rupert Everett has likened the current climate of attacks on free speech to the former communist regime of East Germany.

    Everett, 61, who found fame playing a gay public school pupil in the 1984 drama Another Country, said: ‘We’re in such a weird new world, a kind of Stasi it feels like to me, and if you don’t reflect exactly the right attitude, you risk everything just being destroyed for you by this judgmental, sanctimonious, intransigent, intractable, invisible cauldron of hags around in the virtual world.’

    Rupert Everett has likened the current climate of attacks on free speech to the former communist regime of East Germany

    The actor and director, who was speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, said he was born ‘illegal’ because homosexuality was not legalised in the UK until 1967. 

    He added: ‘That whole movement of the 1970s in London and in New York was so incredible. London from 1993, 1995 to 2004… the change that came about was really amazing.’

    Asked about his own legacy, he said: ‘I think when you croak now things are moving too fast. No one knows how to celebrate anything that isn’t happening right now.’

    Everett said that after initial early acting success with Another Country, his career stalled and he found the showbusiness world very tough, including being blanked by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

    Everett, 61, found fame playing a gay public school pupil in the 1984 drama Another Countr. He is pictured above in the drama with Colin Firth

    Everett, 61, found fame playing a gay public school pupil in the 1984 drama Another Countr. He is pictured above in the drama with Colin Firth

    ‘I knew I was dead then,’ he said.

    He also said he found it difficult to get a break when he switched to directing.

    ‘I wasn’t the right type of gay, the wrong type of gay at the wrong time, as usual, typical me,’ he said.

    ‘The right type of gay at the wrong time. Now I don’t think I’m the right type of gay. I thought finally being gay is the card you can wave but I’m not sure if I’m the right type of queen now.’

    Asked by interviewer Emma Freud why, Everett replied: ‘Well, I’m not sure. I don’t know why, really.’

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