Greetings, readers! My name is Sareeta Domingo, and I’m an author and fiction editor. It’s my great pleasure to be bringing you a Book of the Week, each week here on Morning Mari.
We’ve made it! It’s a new year, but we’re certainly not quite out of the woods in terms of the tough times. So for my first Book of the Week selection of 2021, to lift the mood I’m recommending a book that is both insightful and immersive, but also hilarious--Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, by English actor Rupert Everett. It’s his first autobiography, published in 2004 (he has another coming this year).
This book charts Everett’s early life and career, following his transient episodes of living in environments as diverse as glamorous St Tropez, the sleazier side of Paris nightlife, and, of course, the bright lights of Hollywood. He has a wonderful way of highlighting both the aspirational excitement of the fantastic situations in which he finds himself, but is also under no illusion that pride can so often come before a fall, especially in the fickle world of cinema.
Everett is especially, and perhaps inevitably, astute in his investigations of the challenges he faced as a gay actor in an industry that only seemed to believe openly gay people as suitable for comedic fodder, while, as he puts it, “straight guys were better as the serious queers.” He’s also brilliantly erudite in his description of the challenges he faced as his promising acting career began to wane—his account of working on an obscure film with Sharon Stone made me laugh out loud.
Overall, Everett’s biography offers a deliciously honest, sexy and funny insight into the life of an actor who I’d consider to be an under-sung national treasure. The book reads like having a meal with an ideal dinner guest, and a great way to ease into the reading year. That is why Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins by Rupert Everett is my Book of the Week this week.