Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins

Rupert Everett’s international film career was launched with Another Country, back in 1984, when he was both young and beautiful.  Although never able to make the grade as a romantic lead – Hollywood was notoriously conservative back then and couldn’t risk the wrath of a potential right wing backlash if they cast an openly gay actor.  Nevertheless he went on to have his fifteen minutes of fame in Hollywood, where he briefly held court in Camelot.

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins describes in detail, hanging out with his famous gal pals – from Madonna to Sharon Stone.  So far, so celebrity memoir, you would think. Whatever you think of Rupert’s acting abilities (and he is endearingly self-deprecating on that topic), this man can surely write.

On his privileged upbringing:

‘After ten years of prep and public school you were part of the gang; and if you weren’t, you were a freak or a fairy. Luckily for me I was both.’

On the movie business:

‘The movie business is a strange affair, demanding total dedication from its lovers, although it gives none in return.

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins manages to be both witty and sad, sweet and endearing as well as achingly funny.  It doesn’t sound like his younger, self-absorbed self would have been much fun to hang around with but all that changed when his beloved Mo, a black Labrador, came into his life. As he so rightly states, once you have another being to care for, it turns you into a better, less selfish person.

Although it’s fascinating to read about his early Hollywood career, hanging out with legends of another era, like Orson Welles, I just loved, that in that crazy mixed up world in La La Land, a black Labrador (a signifier of a British rural upbringing – if ever there was one), got to fly on Concorde and hang out in A Listers pools. 

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