4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Candid Memoir of a classical actor. A man of weight and influence,
This review is from: My Life in Pieces: An Alternative Autobiography (Hardcover)
Having covered his career before,(Being an Actor & Shooting the Actor)
Callow describes this book as a look at "my passions, my concerns, my
Few books, other than an encyclopedia of film, offers such a rich and comprehensive (not to mention impressive) index of big-hitters. From Charlie Chaplin to Jim Carey, Noel Coward to Woody Allen. People of weight and influence feature.
"when I was at drama school, the Lawrence Olivier controversy raged. Was he the greatest actor who had ever lived? Or was he simply appauling, a ham, externanal, tricksy, unwatchable?"
My Life in Pieces, while warm and engaging is also overly detailed and
at times a little self indulgent in places. Yet, this is forgiven because Callow has the skill of being able to articulate with such grace. On describing Paul Schofield, who had recently passed away from Leukemia:
"Schofield was the last of the theatrical Titans, a late flowering of that astonishing generation that included Olivier, Gielgud, ashcroft ...and his death on Wednesday leaves the stage immesuarbly impoverished".
As stated, the content is a veritable 'who's who' of names and faces that have graced theatre and film for decades. He describes his friendship with Rupert Everett and is candid about his (Callow's) homosexuality. It is noble to offer such candour.
"We went out for some tea and suddenly we were inseparable...it wasn't sex, although sex was the subject of many of our conversations... it was a very sweet relationship"
For some, it is the film, Four Weddings and a Funeral that they are most familiar with.
On discussing his memory of FWAF, back in 1993, he describes:
"I was amazed and delighted to be asked to play the part of a
middle-aged gay man who dies, not from AIDS but from a heart attack
induced by excessive Scottish dancing".
A newspaper columnist for over 30 years, the above was written by Callow as part of his Independent column, in 1993.
The books is in many ways, a tutorial for the classical actor.
"All great acting- Olivier's, Brando's,....is great because of piercing
contact made with the thought processes of the character".
My Life in Pieces is both a treasure for the film student and a bible for the enthusiast of film and stage history.