The Golden Globe-nominated actor, writer and director, famed for Another Country, My Best Friend’s Wedding and more recently playing Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince, which he wrote and directed, has enjoyed a glamorous life of wild parties. However, these days he prefers an altogether calmer life. ‘I’m one of those people who likes gardening in wellies. I love such different things now: trees, birds, gardens, rain, nature,’ he told the Daily Mail.
He has lived in Hollywood, Europe, London and New York, but now spends most of his time in the UK, and moved back into a part of his mother’s Wiltshire home several years ago, with his long-term partner Henrique and dog Plumo. ‘I live in her house or she lives in my house, whichever one of us you are listening to,’ he said on Desert Island Discs recently. Rupert now divides his time between Wiltshire and London
His parents bought their 18th-century family home when he was a teenager. The gorgeous garden, featured in The Secret Gardeners by Victoria Summerley, is a beautiful traditional English garden with lawns, surrounded by old red brick walls clad in climbing roses and wisteria. It’s also made all the more idyllic by bordering the river Avon, with a sinuous brick-edged rill running through the garden, ending in a lily pond. There are borders with cottage garden favourites such as valerian(centranthus) allium, lavender, Alchemilla mollis and peony.
Speaking on Desert Island Discs, the actor said: ‘I work a lot actually these days. I live a very quiet life. I am not very social’. He enjoys the country life and there’s certainly plenty of opportunity at his Wiltshire home to garden in his wellies, secateurs in hand – perhaps even grow his own produce in the vegetable garden. Indeed, he’s such a fan of vegetables that he chose them as his luxury on the radio programme. ‘I’d have some decent vegetables, courgettes, cabbages, peas, I love peas, and corn.’ Time, it seems, can mellow us all.