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.
have fallen as my trousers are gaping at the knee. Both knees. Lurching and crying and laughing and flailing and the more it goes on, the more hysterical are Bruce and Paul. Who seem to me totally sober. Right now I don’t care a fuck about anything or anyone and this limbless lunacy gets us almost all the way through the script. Or so it seems. French windows line the far wall with a narrow side glass door into the garden. An ocean of nausea bolts through my system and brain cells convene upon
want to weep that my father is not alive to see this. To say that things are getting a little on the emotional side, is an understatement. Seeing myself up there for the first time, from all the angles impossible in real life, short of a four-way mirror scheme, is so horrifying that I’m now trembling and wondering if there is any plastic surgery on earth that can fix what is so obviously lacking. Oh, sweet Jeeezus! Vanity aside, it’s the H’ACTING that’s now capsizing my senses. So that’s what
to contracts and sign on the dotted. Just for insurance, I practically rip out my vocal cords with a final MGM roar. As free therapy, it’s worth the train-fare alone. ‘Well . . . I don’t quite know what to say. Nobody has done anything quite like that before.’ The man’s eyes are inspecting the floor, while his left hand massages his reddening neck. I retrieve the fallen page, and relieve them of my de-roared self. Such is the willingness to delusion, that I seriously imagine my efforts will
We do the dialogue to a ‘double’. Cruise into Joel’s office at lunch-time to borrow Variety newspaper. (Sandra and I are keeping tabs on all the films-in-production listings and a run down of who is working around the globe and who isn’t.) Seeing our own names listed is the level to which we are now stooping for reassurance. Of any kind. Like kids staring at their first school nametapes, and nodding in silence. Mmmmmm, yes, I DO EXIST. HERE IS MY NAME. Which aptly prepares me for 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