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I Blame Dennis Hopper

And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.

In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman's experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 09, 2015 – Actress and director Douglas's memoir is an enjoyable down a star-studded memory lane, buoyed by her easy charm and genuine love of all things cinematic. Growing up in Connecticut with parents who took Easy Rider's approach to 1960s counterculture a little too literally her father started his own commune Douglas always knew she wanted a life in the movies. The granddaughter of two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas once took a young Illeana to the set of Being There and introduced to one of her idols, Peter Sellers, thus cementing her Hollywood dream. Douglas worked her way up from waitressing at a dinner theater to acting school in New York, and thence to working for famed publicist Peggy Siegal. This led to a chance encounter with Martin Scorsese, who would direct her in several of his pictures, including in a particularly memorable scene of his Cape Fear remake in which Robert de Niro's Max Cady gnaws off her face; Douglas and Scorsese were also in a romantic relationship for a decade. Douglas recounts, with equal parts humor and heart, her experiences on films such as Goodfellas, Alive (for which the cast virtually recreated a plane crash high in the Canadian Rockies), and To Die For. She also mentions several friendships, both brief and long-term, with luminaries like Roddy McDowell and Marlon Brando. Douglas nimbly avoids the celebrity tell-all pitfall of unrelieved namedropping by imbuing her debut with an earnest, undeniable passion for movies and the people who make them.

Customer Reviews

A wonderful book

Such great stories about so many great people. I didn't want it to end. I hope Illeana will write another...and another...

I Blame Dennis Hopper
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Nov 03, 2015
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings