With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E. Grant
Richard E. Grant
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With Nails is Richard E. Grant's brilliantly idiosyncratic, witty, and revealing account of the film business and life among its stars.
First comes Grant's first big break, the starring role in Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I, the cult film that set Grant's career on a path bound for stardom―"I had no notion that, almost without exception, every film offered since would be the result of playing an alcoholic-out-of-work actor." Like Dante's Virgil he guides the reader through the hell of the making of Hudson Hawk. He knows he's an insider when Carrie Fisher reminds him, "You're no longer a tourist, you’re one of the attractions." This heady mixture of eating spaghetti with the Coppolas, window-shopping with Sharon Stone, and working with and learning from the best actors and directors in Tinseltown will be irresistible to anyone who loves movies or aspires to be a Hollywood player.
bellowing “Fork it”. Got the part. Two words. Thought, if he can do that, maybe I can work the little rat up into something. But you had to lose the weight. Right porker you were when you came in.’ During this harangue I detected the begrudging tones of friendship, ‘in the beaten way’, as young Hamlet was to say. As well as a colon-twisting cramp of what if Mary Selway hadn’t been so sure that I, the Unknown Soldier, might fit the bill, Bruce having turned away the well-known mortals . . . In
wobbly time of it and keeps forgetting his lines. The OUTTAKE bloopers or fluffs that find their way into It’ll Be Alright on the Night come, like most comedy, from some human being in an acute state of distress. On every take, the more he tries the more he cocks it up. Every actor has experienced this horror and we sympathetically avert our eyes as the poor man’s brains scramble and start frying. What renders the whole débâcle truly farcical is the added requirement that a perfectly risen
the land of the wannabe, here is Vanity and how it’s gonna-be! A cacophonous contrast to the sanctuary-like calm of Beverly Hills. Snake charmers, robotic dancers on skates, muscle-builders busting their oiled veins, live but stock-still shop mannequins, bag-ladies, folks from Omaha – they have their jaws permanently dropped at O – knife-throwers and glass-chompers, mimes and live Barbies, alongside the Tribe of the Obese. Steve wears a cap and sunglasses and, for the most part, manages to pass
determined seriously to pursue this dream of becoming one of Them who acted in stories in a Never-Never Land called Hollywood. Now, you would be right in thinking this is so much syrupy gloop, but it is this single dream that has silently kept me going. Which in some smallish way, but more biggish than I dared hope for, has been realized. It induces a quiet load of blubbing in the empty front row, midnight showing, for the past, for the dead, even for a dream come true. The elegiac tone of the
audience goes doo-lally when BARBRA STREISAND comes up on the credits. Cheers at the end. 29th June Eeny, meeny, miny, mo – to which party do I go? An agent from a rival agency is on the woo. The Altmans’ for dinner in Malibu? A producer for dinner and the screening of Madonna’s film, too? Susan Sarandon and Tim for a barbecue? Tim and Susan have rented a big house in Brentwood Canyon to which they have invited all the actors in the Actors’ Gang Theatre Company, which Tim co-founded and for