ROME – In a recent interview, famous British actor Rupert Everett compared the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages to ISIS and defines his role in an upcoming series as part of his battle against a homophobic church.
“It’s my crusade against the culture that I was brought up in,” Everett, best known for his roles in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “An Ideal Husband,” said in an interview Italian Vanity Fair published Feb. 27.
“And, in general, against the Catholic Church, which in the Middle Ages was more terrible than ISIS and that still today, would gladly send me to hell for the only reason that I am gay,” he added.
The actor, who came out as gay in 1989, explains that at the age of seven his parents sent him to the Benedictine Monastery at Ampleforth to complete his studies and where he claims his sexuality was repressed.
Everett will play a lead role in an Italian series centered around a Benedictine monastery drawn from Umberto Eco’s masterpiece The Name of the Rose, which sees the forces of good and evil in the Church face off against a Medieval background.
The series is set to premier on Italian television March 4.
The British actor will play the role of the Dominican inquisitor Bernardo Gui, a villain in the book and TV series, which he said he prefers because he “takes pleasure in showing the dark side of an institution I detest.”
Everett criticized the spending and eating habits of clergy, whom he claims to have witnessed ordering five course meals during his frequent stays in Rome. “They would do better to follow in the example of Jesus, give everything up for charity and live in poverty,” he said.
Not even Pope Francis was spared from the actor’s criticism, which expressed mistrust in the pontiff’s role and influence when he was head of the Jesuits in Argentina.
“I don’t trust him,” Everett said, “he proclaims a lot of good things, and then he fails to do them.”
He went on to describe Francis as “a marketing man” and claims that he preferred his predecessor Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, whom he despised for his conservatism but “was at least authentic.”
“It’s a bit like what I feel in regard to the president of the United States,” Everett said taking a political turn. “Now that we have Trump, I miss [George W.] Bush.”