With Nails (1996, Richard E. Grant)

Picked this up at Strand, opened to a random page in The Player chapter and decided I need it – then thought I’d better watch Withnail & I before reading. Hilarious, fun book about Richard’s travails acting in Withnail & I, Warlock, Henry and June, LA Stories, Hudson Hawk, The Player, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Age of Innocence and Ready to Wear, with paperback-edition epilogue bits on Portrait of a Lady, Twelfth Night, The Serpent’s Kiss and Spice World. A couple mentions of How to Get Ahead in Advertising (having already sketched out the process of working with Bruce Robinson in the Withnail chapter, he probably wanted to get on to the Hollywood stuff), a few sentences on Mountains of the Moon (its producer is insanely wealthy) and no mention at all of Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Since I never read gossipy behind-the-scenes Hollywood tales it was full of surprises for me – but Grant’s writing and humor is always the main attraction.

Lately Grant has written/directed a movie called Wah-Wah and written a diary about that – something to look forward to. Oooh and looks like there’s a novel called “By Design,” which a reviewer says is “an attempt to fictionalize all those great Hollywood experiences & stories that for legal reasons he couldn’t include” in the diaries.