British actor Rupert Everett recounted the “basic terror” of the HIV/AIDS crisis as a gay man in London during the ’80s in an interview with The Guardian.
Everett, known for his roles in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” says he became free in his sexuality around the same time HIV/AIDS became prominent.
“To be honest, that whole period, I was living in basic terror for my life. I’d had a very promiscuous sex life from the moment I arrived in London. I’d thrown myself into the gay world, coming from this convent background, and then AIDS began and there was no way of finding out if you carried the virus until 1985, the HIV test,” the 58-year-old says.
He recalls that lots of people he knew were dying and everyone was filled with panic over the unknowable.
“Everybody was terrorized by the disease. Even people who loved you, your family, you’d notice them taking your plate and washing it separately. That was my whole world – of every 60 seconds, 30 were in sheer panic. Especially being in front of a camera; I lived in fear of a cameraman saying: ‘What’s that on your face, Rupert?'” Everett continues.
Everett stars as Oscar Wilde in the upcoming biopic, “The Happy Prince.” He also appears in the BBC series, “Quacks.”