British actor Rupert Everett says being openly gay cost him “three or four” major Hollywood roles.

Speaking with the Press Association, Everett, 59, said that Hollywood treats gay actors as “second class citizens.”

"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,” Everett said.

“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. That does absolutely happen.”

"It is a subtle thing, taking part in a boys’ club – a straight boys’ club – and if you are a woman in it you have to bend yourself towards that world and if you are a gay in it, you are a second-class citizen, really, and subjected, at a certain point, to a brick wall, in terms of getting on.”

"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,” he added.

Everett, who is best known for his roles in My Best Friend's Wedding and An Ideal Husband, wrote, directed and stars in the upcoming film The Happy Prince, which looks at the life of gay Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde.

(Related: Rupert Everett: Oscar Wilde was the start of the gay liberation movement.)