In 1969, Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words - "That's what it's all about, man" - to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper-middle-class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."
I Blame Dennis Hopper is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Vallee taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor - two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas - to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke to becoming an award-winning writer, director, and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking.
©2015 Illeana Douglas (P)2015 Tantor
"The author's warm portraits and disarming honesty infuse the memoir with an endearing sweetness and charm." (Kirkus)
This book is a masterful blend of writing and performance. I got all wrapped up in Illeana's JOY--from her hilarious childhood memories to her passion for acting and movies. It was all so entertaining, full of emotional truth and inspiring depth.
Just one--there were so many! How about her first audition, when she sings "Maybe This Time" in the Key of Liza--inspired by Liza Minnelli in "Cabaret".
Again, tough to pick a favorite among so many goodies. The meeting Marlon Brando chapter was gasp-inspiring. And her first meeting with Roddy McDowall was really rich.
Again, so many! I really loved the moments where she faced obstacles head on and met them with great courage--from her chutzpah at that first audition, to filming "Alive" under harrowing conditions, to blurting out her truth to Brando.
I've long been a fan of Illeana Douglas, the actress. Now I'm a fan of Illeana, the writer. I was so captivated by this book, I'd circle extra blocks to listen to it while driving, ignored the husband to stay up late at night and hear more of her stories. It ranks up there as one of the top memoirs I've ever heard or read. Awesome.
It's up there. I laughed out loud with Billy Crystal and this is a close second...
IIleana does have a gift for recounting stories. She narrates them as if you're sitting next to her on the sofa sharing a bowl of kettle popcorn. The best chapter was when she met her childhood idol (yes, she recounts many of them) Marlon Brando. Her description almost sent me veering off the freeway... I am also a huge Matt Dillon fan and have watched everyone of his movies from the obscure to the commercial ones. It was great to hear her collaborations with him on To Die For (don't get me started on the visionary genius of Gus Van Sant) and Grace of My Heart.
Why, herself of course?!! Illeana is very relatable. I'm a film buff (I'm an avid junket journalist of 20 years) and so I just loved her stories and obscure movie references. I wish I had read her book before I had interviewed her, as for sure, this knowledge would have vastly improved my questions!
Illena of course. I wish she would write another book - or indeed make a fly on the wall doco style indie of herself through the years....
If she is reading this..... I would like her to know that if I'm a fan (and secretly want to be her new BFF)..... too much?
This is a wonderful and funny book. For TV and movie lovers a must listen. Ileana Douglas is great with her delivery. Particularly chapter 14 killed me! Laugh out loud funny stuff. Absolutely love this extraordinary book. Nice to listen to a book from a fellow movie fan. I could go on and on but I'm not a great writer.
Oh, i didnt want the book to end. Illeanna has wonderful stories and amazing insight. the book was inspiring. i anxiously await more from her. <3
If you're a fan of movies… real movies…and an appreciator of actors, this book is for you.
Illeana Douglas playing Dreyfuss playing Tracy
It made me forget myself and literally laugh out loud on a crowded bus.
Illeana's enthusiasm and passion. Her stories are incredible and she never looses sight of who helped her or how to pay it forward. She is a gem, a true doll and a total through back to a classic American Star.
That she canceled on Marlon Brando.
Her narration and love. You can hear her genuine sincerity. I made a list of all the films and shorts she talked about and cannot wait to see each of them. She is a real human being but also a super star. She bring class and elegance back to the theater like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.
I should have banged Marlon Brando! Just kidding - My autograph book and Me.
I would buy watch and short of stalking see everything she does now. I loved her in picture perfect and to die for. Now, I have so many more reasons to say that Illeana Douglas is my favorite actress!!!
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