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With Nails: The Film Diaries Of Richard E. Grant

     by Grant, Richard E.

With Nails: The Film Diaries Of Richard E. Grant

Ever wonder what life is like for the supporting actors you see in movies? The ones with the familiar faces that you can't quite place? Richard E. Grant is such an actor, and throughout his career he has kept a daily diary of his working experience, which he has turned into this book. The diary covers all of his ups and downs in the movie industry, from being a celebrated actor for his role in the independent film Withnail & I to finding himself in Hungary feeling bored, alone and miserable shooting the film Hudson Hawk. It also gives a peek at the private lives of celebrities as diverse as Steve Martin, Naomi Campbell, Bruce Willis, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and even the Spice Girls. The book is not just a behind the scenes look, though. Grant also touches on the feelings he has for his wife and daughter, who usually stay behind in England while he is off making a film.  

This is an original autobiography, written with great wit and style. The daily entries have a "you are there" feeling, almost as if you were on the set with him. The book also scores points for not glossing over some of the fights and the out of control egos that Grant has encountered on his path. Names are named and arguments are discussed, so if you’re wondering just how outrageous Sandra Bernhard can get or if Gary Oldman is really as strange as he sounds, this is a great place to look. It’s Grant’s total lack of a Hollywood ego, though, that really makes this book worth reading. Throughout, you get the sense that he is just a star-struck man who happened upon a career where he gets to work with many of his idols.

Reviewed by mw, 3/99. Other reviews by mw.