British actor RUPERT EVERETT struggled with heat exhaustion on the set of his new period comedy STAGE BEAUTY - because he had to wear padding and two wigs throughout England's 2003 summer heatwave.

The movie star, who plays KING CHARLES II in the film, insisted on taking breaks to lie down because he thought he was going to pass out.

He recalls, "It was a very, very hot summer we had in England last summer (03) and I was literally trussed up. I had false legs on, a false stomach, false hair; I even had a bald wig underneath my ordinary wig, and a mustache and it was seriously hot.

"I had a lot of extra weight on as well, so I was quite fat. You had to lie down when you weren't working because you felt you were gonna faint and you couldn't pee, you couldn't do anything."

The film's director, Richard Eyre, admits he was jealous of HARRY POTTER - because filming on the set of THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN nearby was temperature controlled.

He adds, "They obviously had the budget and the set was air-conditioned. We could only look on and sweat."

06/10/2004 21:15