It's different for Rupert Graves.
Different, that is, from Rupert Everett, the star of My Best Friend's Wedding. Both men hail from Britain and both are making a splash on this side of the Atlantic.
"I'm not the Rupert in the $100-million movie, but I am in a romantic comedy," explains Graves, star of Different for Girls, the grand prize winner at the 1996 Montreal World Film Festival.
The movie is now playing in Calgary.
It's the story of Paul Prentice, an ageing punk rocker (Graves), who runs into a former school mate. The two had attended a boys' school but his old pal has had a sex change and is now Kim Foyle (Steven Mackintosh).
Kim works for a greeting card company writing the verses.
It's a very different world that Prentice enters when he decides to befriend Kim. What starts out as pure curiosity develops into something dangerously different for both Kim and Prentice.
Mackintosh admits the film could have been awkward if it weren't for Graves.
"He has such an incredible sense of humor and he kept the atmosphere on the set very light and funny. It made things much easier for me and really impacted on my performance."
Graves says he understood what Mackintosh was going through.
"I've played my share of gay men on screen and stage. You have to have a sense of humor about it, so that no one feels awkward."
Graves was cast as the gay grounds-keeper in the British film Maurice.
Two years before, in his film debut, he had played Helena Bonham Carter's brother in A Room with a View for the same producers.
"I think the only reason I got into Room with a View is that I have the same kind of bushy eyebrows as Helena."
Graves also played a gay character in the London stage production of Torch Song Trilogy.
"There's a real challenge to playing well-written gay characters because they are so much more complicated than the traditional straight roles."
There was nothing traditional about the shy lodger Graves played earlier this year in Intimate Relations.
©1997 The Calgary Sun.