Rupert Everett claims he's missed out on major Hollywood roles because of his sexuality.

The 59-year-old actor is openly gay and branded the film industry as ''aggressively heterosexual'', with homosexual performers treated like ''second-class citizens.''

He claimed: ''There's tons of roles that I haven't got for lots of different reasons, some of them probably for not being a good enough actor or doing a lousy audition -- all that counts.

''But there were three or four big films, when I was successful, that the director and the other actors wanted me to be in and that I was absolutely blocked from by a studio, just for the fact of being gay.''

But Rupert - who wrote, directed and stars in upcoming Oscar Wilde biopic 'The Happy Prince' - claims the rejection has only served to make him work harder to create his own opportunities.

He continued in an interview: ''That does absolutely happen. But at the same time it has been the making of me as well.

''It has forced me always to try and be creative, to try and make something up.

''I think my career as a writer would not have happened if I had been heterosexual, active, working non-stop.''

The 'My Best Friend's Wedding' star thinks gay actors are typically offered a ''certain function'' which can get boring for both the artist and the audience very quickly.

He said: ''My function was as a gay best friend, a confidante, a kind of hairdresser, constantly there with the curling tongs, which is fair enough but as a performer there is not very far you can go with that before you bore everyone s**tless.

''The point is, for gay performers there is no, or very little, back and forth.

''In other words, the straights can play all the gay characters they want but the gays don't get much of a chance to play any straight characters because, as far as this status quo is concerned, we are still gay and no matter how macho you are, they will just still think of you probably as a gay.''