Actor Rupert Everett has advised gay actors to keep their sexual orientation secret if they want to succeed.

Everett, who is gay, enjoyed a host of high-profile roles in films such as My Best Friend’s Wedding.

But since coming out in 1989, his success has dwindled.

He told the Observer: “I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out.

“The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business.

“And I’m sick of saying, ‘Yes, it’s probably my own fault.’ Because I’ve always tried to make it work and when it stops working somewhere, I try to make it work somewhere else.

“But the fact of the matter is, and I don’t care who disagrees, it doesn’t work if you’re gay.”

He added that there were probably other stars in closet but agreed that while he was not as rich or successful as them, he is “vaguely free” to be himself.