I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies

So much fun to read this– it feel like Illeana Douglas is simply speaking to you, her words tumbling directly out of mouth and into your ear. She writes like she talks, and gives you a glimpse behind some of the curtains of the projects she’s worked on over the years, all the while schooling you on film history and giving you a list of movies to track down and watch. From saving $0.99 by sneaking into drive-in movies in her friend’s car trunk to working as a cocktail waitress at age 14 at a musical dinner theater, from being poor and living with a bunch of hippies after her dad undergoes a “conversion” of sorts after watching Easy Rider (hence the blaming of Dennis Hopper) to learning by watching her grandfather on the set of Being There (specifically requested to be cast by Peter Sellers). The relationship with Marty Scorsese, the friendships with any number of dedicated artists, her whirlwind of survival and education behind and in front of the cameras. The epic lunch with Marlon Brando that turned into dinner, she/Brando/Marty all sitting on the floor of the hotel room telling stories. The halcyon days of being able to waltz into a studio with an independent project that had backing by Marty as an executive producer, and a name signed on like John Tuturro, and get funding. I had no idea she did the Supermarket series or four seasons of an IKEA-branded web series, and wonder if she felt pressure to include those projects in the book?