This is how Oscar Wilde is like Drag Race, according to Rupert Everett

Actor Rupert Everett has made a fantastic connection between iconic playwright Oscar Wilde and the gay phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Everett, who stars in the upcoming Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince, compared the playwright to RuPaul’s Drag Race, the renowned drag competition show currently in its 13th season.

Everett told Attitude: “I think there is a connection between Drag Race and Oscar Wilde.

“That performance level and that irony towards your own kind, which is what Wilde was about.”


The openly gay actor went on to claim that drag queens were now the only people allowed to be ironic.

Everett added: “That tongue-in-cheek thing, which drag queens still have but the rest of us aren’t allowed any more.”

Related: The dark history behind Britain’s first anti-gay law

The 58-year-old also heavily praised Wilde for his role in starting the LGBT rights movement, even before LGBT rights were a concept.

“The gay liberation movement really starts with Oscar Wilde. In one sense, he’s the centre of what we’re living now,” Everett said.

Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde (Lionsgate)

The openly gay actor made the comments ahead of the release of The Happy Prince, in which Everett stars as well as writing and directing the feature.

Due in cinemas June 15, The Happy Prince is a biographical drama based on Wilde’s final years and his imprisonment for homosexuality.

The Picture of Dorian Gray writer, who had a string of male lovers, was famously arrested and sent to Reading Gaol in 1895. He died in 1900, just three years after being released from prison.

(Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

In the film, Wilde is penniless, downtrodden and dying in Paris, but still with the wit, insightfulness and beautiful way with words that made him such a wonderful writer.

The film features Academy Award-winner Colin Filth as Reggie Turner, a friend and contemporary of Wilde.

Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Chancellor and Edwin Thomas also feature in the upcoming film.

(Lionsgate Films UK)

A synopsis for the film outlines: “Out of prison but a pariah, Wilde swings between grief and a determination to wrest whatever pleasure and beauty he can from the time he has left.

“His body ailing and heavy, his mind spinning, he survives by falling back on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him.”

In 2016, the prison where Oscar Wilde served time for ‘gross indecency’ featured an art exhibition dedicated to him.

The famous playwright and poet, who had a string of male lovers, was famously arrested and sent to Reading Gaol in 1895 for for gross indecency with men, under the UK’s historic anti-gay laws. 

Wilde served two years behind bars in Reading Gaol, penned the work ‘De Profundis’ from behind bars.

His time in prison was the basis for his final ever work ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’. a long poem that reflects on the harsh rhythms of his daily prison life.

Watch the trailer for The Happy Prince below