His comments were part of a feature in which his mother was interviewed as well. In 2008, he apologised after calling soldiers “wimps” in The Sunday Telegraph.Mrs Everett, 77, told how she knew her son was gay from when he turned 18, and described her desire for him to have children. Publicising his film The Victorian Sex Explorer in which he played Sir Richard Burton, he said: “In Burton's day they were itching to get into the fray. They are always whining about the dangers of being killed. ” He has also previously spoken of his treatment after making his sexuality public, urging actors not to come out for fear of losing work.
He is both charming and surly; passionate and withdrawn.
We meet as he emerges from a rehearsal room in a central London church. There is a little nest of lines at the centre of his forehead and his skin is tanned.
He is preparing for the role of the bitter court composer Antonio Salieri in Peter Schaffer’s Amadeus at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
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He first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film Another Country (1984) as an openly gay pupil at an English public school in the 1930s; the role earned him his first BAFTA Award nomination.