Transcript for 'Happy Prince' star on channeling Oscar Wilde to reignite his career
Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers this is popcorn where we tell you what is happening at the movies and there's a movie called the happy prince which I love from start to finish. And it stars my friend here Rupert Everett who also decided to direct it. Not voted early that voluntarily okay. But what why should I think Rupert welcome thank you very much thank you very much for having well. Oscar Wilde has been in your life Morton at that B print you somehow. Done some of the films that plays that have been made from us wild birds played him onstage but Ford Judas Kiss. Now be prints. The end of school. With obsession come. Would do mideast until faction is an obsession and about 2007 I think it was. I wasn't getting very much work and I'd written the southern writing books and I'd always a management going to be amazing but it segue then into writing scripts. And maybe pump me and I could kick start things and elbow my way back to the middle. Treasury. And so that was really my initial. Eight minutes when I was thinking of who I should try and play and what will be the most. The people what kind of appreciate me doing if if I had an audience you know that was was interest in not so well Oscar Wilde. To me is again a patron saint for whom associate crisis. Of this of the gay liberation movement does the sum of parts of that. It's been public Korea and in. You know a gay man and negotiating. A career and have been largely. Heterosexual. Boys club and he's he's he's been can be kind of Christ figure and I felt. That's what I could really. Put everything of myself into enough when you when you make of that when I made a film and this kind of passion of Oscar Wilde. Which is what that means it's it's a desperate story but with offs. With last. What what exactly Oscar why. And applied Oscar while in fact is he was he's a tremendous of life. UV retain its human. Curiosity. About people that in optimism constitution. In exile on the street court. Neatly replace the movies a royalty ways. In a rent poison them to criminals and helpful to adjust to different crowd of people. Sexual at a time where that was nobody and it worked law it was well it. And that's where he's very instinct punctuation point between the two centuries the nineties and in the twenty's because. Before Oscar Wilde this wasn't woods on the six year. It's a debate. That would add incorporated for them the woman of any Claussen women discipline tool to about those kind of things have very few men would at route talked about something. Homosexuality miscue well one. You know Queen Victoria which you made him mobile homes futures so. When she has ruled stories funny for him prime minister. And then when they went lesbians the things. And that's it I'm really not meant one thing I'm adult but it is about women and that's why those in the historic and it's. I've won a scene of Queen Victoria do it. That would be. He had eyes that had school while Alou a mixed. Thank you do it did you know that basically you'll push the envelope. You will find humor in things that aren't and Oscar while this finding that he's been in jail. He's been and he's continues. The punished even off to jail he says his is that it sees another kind of jail. And that's what's from about it because he treats and you'll he's like the last great bag of bones of the nineteenth century in my film. I think he's he's. He's tremendously charming Carrington he just is and it's in the working huge hole in flashback. In human. This audience that now find him distasteful. But it flashback there watching port being earnest and going. Yes yes you know you're just the greatest therein would. At the time with his full he was cold the most famous man in London which is you know globally now it's it's huge heaves a huge huge though. And I think that's another thing this wonderful about the story and touching is that. It's really a story about the style. Who is blinded by season's success in the way because everything that went wrong for Oscar Wilde with his own folds. He broad Olin himself. And he boarded on the soap because. Once you become that they could stop. You can't the idea that the world is the satellites the rest of the world is a satellite T you'll. Main planet. This completely misunderstood the feeding of the day what would happen and and you know he destroyed himself a century and once. But he wanted to live as Healy watts. When he when he got into trouble he decided to take to its use of libel action to the father of his lover. Who'd written in the Lexus at the addressed to Oscar Wilde posing as a sort of light. So. What he did then was to take that man to court for libel Eileen Harrington that he wasn't a settlement. And that's when everything went wrong. Because them he went through lawyer all of this his second trial collapsed in the closet but if you come to me that union to visit to Arabic. And just you know come down and that's what he should have done. And he did had a long career but instead he engaged in rule and Alton. You call them review the happy prince which is a story Oscar Wilde wrote at the state children's right. What was that story. And when was the first time you encountered. Stewart's a very important story to me this is it one of my first. Corporate childhood memories. It's about a statement really good memories them when I was about five or six. My mother was reading to me happy prince in bed. I remember it very. The the most because that relationship UW mother that point is one of the most comfortable. And wonderful relationship do you have in the rest of your life that protected. Maria the optimism. Secrets in this new problems and you have been discovered problems. And my mom was an attack you peerage a big way hearings sure and many interest. And I love coolest clothes mullah kind of stuff. And them. She read that princely remembers saying swollen political swollen. And I come from a very. Traditional militia backgrounds of region. Evans say things I love you in the morning in the evening you'll tune we do about it. We were much most of top of that so when we started reading about love and suffering and the price paid for enough. Mean this from me have seemed like these people Dunst says that missing something and then it kind of gave me a whole new outlook. There was another type of world. Possible to get to know I understood what it Willis social Leah something's up does not just about to be about into the Second World War. It took a lot of other things yet has a love of these good you know. It's it's fascinating because in your own career in your own life you have so much success in the mainstream. There was that period where you were doing my best friend's wedding do you Robert she worked with Madonna. You. And Shrek you've got to be that prince charming them. And then he did your independent movies as well. But I remember at the time you said. That being gang. Hurt your career at the top well. It's ideal if you want to achieve world domination. And so business as a result you know every young act going in the main idea that the stuff is to achieve world domination and you'd think you. You'll going to be the biggest. And that's that's you'll constitutional. Oath so if you want to be it's fairly complex. To be in 1980s. Or some nineties and really. You know things changing now but it's essentially it's it's not ideal I think that's video of this. It's the choice you have to make. In making that choice did you think your career with her. Well the thing is I was lucky in mind institute kind of established the the grand of the gate best friend in that film will be allowed to step. With PJ Hogan and Judy robes and that had so it might it's too because like Clinton gave restaurant fearful times through 400 times. And people would've goat time. And so what you need into Korea as he beat bill to graduate to other things. I think what happened that but enough is suddenly the straits rule got there I am the Davis for an grow. Eight took them and then that's the case. But unfortunately it was quiet bat executive you can hear about a week column to do the other way. That's impossible. According to some unwritten rule so all the space. Amazing thing day. But none of the gays on the whole historically. Have been allowed to place straight so it is very difficult eventually things come to a whole. I mean it has changed but he hasn't changed fundamentally. Things changing everything's up for grabs that's the exciting thing about times and everybody. A voice as well suit to say things which put possibly couldn't say fool. So I think things are changing look what's happening in terms of well oh LG BTQ culture and in the states this from route cool Detroit. Some two but trance Jen this and its posted the I mean you know this. There's a ton of movement. There's there's a historical. Current I think that's moving things. In a direction. So I think things are changing at the same time. You know we didn't strange world and in these contained back. It's I feel my film. Is that is very good film the trumps America. Because it's a story about that you would think that but it's a story that okay it happened a hundred years ago but actually today right now. It it's the story of Oscar Wilde is about half way only across the spectrum. Of the gay global experience because in probably three quarters of the world. It's still a day he life and death challenged it to be gay lesbian rule transgender. So I feel. There's something about this a school wants to it is still echoes in talks restore mutual will. When you was just starting out and I remember seeing you in another country. Right so it is plain you're playing a A game role in them. DD within your head at the time that I have to play something else in order to have this career I have to do the street role. Well when you're young and Renault was going on put anything in I've done that but that room of the country and play in the movie I think I was in the stars. Anyway communion that point when you're 23 years though this'll happening. You didn't have much of an of these thing. You agreed know what the real world's like until you get and even then you'll know you and you know you can of that water levels that you do these. Takes you is in something as complex of jungle is complex. The services to under really understand begin to understand it actually is going on was struck because. He doesn't have a big part in the movie comfort but when he comes in this is the guy that started with you right but in another country and then you've all had done. Saint training right. What's it's just the wildest Scotto distrusts red. I don't know everything in. You to laugh well you know what and held the world has been going. Well that's funny thing about curious as you when you startled particularly when you do you have those ideas weld nomination and B music could be romantic Everett constitute. 25 years later you'll drag queen and inexpensive. We it could children's comedy room. Yes of course you have to love you have to have that but it's exciting to you by the Korea issues have business and Olson. Keeping going is a wonderful thing and with the youth development occupant is the solo. He sought knowing people that's many years. It's throughout this region you know you can you refund some ideas opinion seems is and you can you put things talk about the cost the future what they everything's right now. It's for that's really fun. For me you know Colin. Standing by me was my film it is you can be in his old financing when you go and get money for this issues it and I always. My fingers crossed and sitcoms but 2 moments opened this morning he says when we stuffing you know he's keen have you spoken to of course Patrick. At them. And salute. To stick with me when you know when it happens the whole thing intimate collapsed it was written yet the great for an. And them on the bill to repay him it is them the film really would not would. When your team. You've just described a little about a military. Background. A sense of things that war spoken and other things that bonds oh. Now went to the idea here that you would be an act that you would be involved. A suit is my soul Mary Poppins of course that's thought so many. I went to the cinema and who Braintree. In Essex it was called embassy Sonoma and I've never been depicts baseless. I've never seen those under review if we had the crimson soup commitments. We liked the book and an organ playing. In this space it's been it was many cigarettes. People smoke Tuesday's newspapers. The smoke went. In ten schools across the street but anyway what she Mary Poppins. Treatment. And then I decided that my parents were my parents and Mary Poppins was my mother. I was a dual. So obviously that's great and therapy started shortly after a loved and I convinced the old school friends this is true. And then yes that that it via. I think what as you exactly what age its what is it. But I like Yahoo! obviously fight was 65 or six so you can convince anybody and yet and what he did that you today. I'm an actor I'm ready for that I realized that it related that was acting. Well I didn't feel like I time my belief that you. Well that's the key to a exactly that's cute like that you never you never achieved your dream of being Mary Poppins me he think each and got you little close idea touch I did pretty well because find the when my Korea. And and commitment in my mid twenty's ago on sequential ski. Made a film. Do you have for one that the play about with almonds with Judy end. You got to play and a violin viola in this profession. It was like that was late I didn't need therapy. This is therapy in acts. Dreams come true people treat treatment historically in this staggering way way because we both had to put it about it. And I did the exits on line. I have known him the even when we went from violence that happens Jews very impressed with like I let it really quick. It's because I'm must be very musical and I managed to Wear my way and that and actually she was amazing list of friends because and we were in the Shrek films as well. But I mean the end product of that as we played the rule alone pooled together. Bach double it's too late we have an orchestra. I had no interest you do well with the who'll. And that's that he was from this whole cruise. And she commitment just. W it was like being in policy. Only. Us. And then we've worked out through the passages and we went up onto the stage the whole ordinance available stood up and she and then you'll the conduct meet. Votes that I just lose. This would not we'll never get any best. Now here is that child yet and says I thought about double bombing catcher Eric opens that you tell our of your passion for Mary Poppins and I didn't seminal it was team. If this is it so. She pavement. Ochoa. By the time we're in Shrek she Cameron. If they that's a thing about longevity in Korea is in the meantime we rules. A film PJ Hogan unconditional love. That we industry movies as wonderful an instant sometimes she rising as saying mommy both. Tuesday's news that an extraordinary. Personality and charisma and some wickedness. Accident. That some. When you look at you the work that you. The three of fort things that speak your mind not because they were huge successes. Or leaders Bob Dylan thing did well with all parts of the slide keep when he caught parts of pong. No but always at its heart it's harder to spot as the house but three it's. But I like the late Jack right. Should have been that it's pacified but when you have. Ops and now it careers sometimes you can learn more from of the must move. Fertilizing yeah Korea because they throw you back when yourself yeah and then you have to fight and I think person in life is best as a struggle. I didn't think left was designed to the completely kind of green lights all the way. Because struggle said he wouldn't it created this and it really forces you to come up with something. Hearts afire it was a perfect case when it was a complete Turkey when it came I mean it was a term career aside move. That it took me years to stagger back. From but at the same way Bob Dylan don't get together and discussed the experience I have discussed the book. He was amazing I mean again what we Eagleton told the same yeah I went from Judy Andrews to Bob Dylan. And that's why I thought radio should've it was a good retiring point. Because I mean things couldn't really get any pets at. Oh than being the book. That you and Judy Julie. So why aren't those seen. Things that you've done on film and on stage will stick with you for that reason that you learn something. That something. Well the I'm thinking when I think of playing the make league stadium in Toronto with gold which is what we did. That stays in my mind this this the most Buhner wonderful. Memory. And of we did it and extraordinary in the things like throws up to you. That was a great experience overseas. I think being in my best friend's wedding was an amazing experience because. Festival. I've gotten Griffin's Puget group in the direct it and the if he was the first director I really really really go slowly. Very very well and we didn't know the film often as is you know really. Well it's always great to talk to you the they have the right attitude. What what you're doing one thing to do it know what problems off and basically try to bill. Something from it. You have to be practical exactly you can dream but you have to be practical. That's the point in the offices and they some of these movies you know be practical is that. That. Kept up with. Just go on do this well this the first time. So you don't know that we and its. Right we do we do what you did and I sit here and smile. Practicing is so little pocket or witnessing the song from a film. Perfect. What you get reduced sugar and all. Enemies move them to justice those who. Move Boone. The in special wing to the people who seek. Might six. It something. Crumbs problems up to come. Its problems. He didn't it's. Now and then and then and then moved from. News that was for you June and that is yet what is it that they know what thank you felt. Thank you very much yeah.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.