Celebrities We Wish Would Write Books
When I was in high school, after driver’s ed class, my geeky friends and I would go to “the mothership,” Barnes and Noble, to drink coffee-milkshakes and page through sociology textbooks by Amherst professors that we hoped to meet in a few years and collections of Langston Hughes poems and non-fiction books about “mole people” (I really can’t oversell how dorky we were).
Unfortunately, the front tables at Barnes and Noble these days look more like the cool girls’ table in the cafeteria, graced with books by Snooki, J-Woww, Lauren Conrad, Bethenny Frankel, and Chelsea Handler. Whether you think celebrity memoirs are keeping writers-by-trade from getting published, grateful that they’re keeping the publishing industry afloat, or secretly love reading the confessions of reality stars in your favorite medium, one thing’s for sure: celebrity memoirs aren’t going away any time soon.
So, here’s a wish list of celebrities that we wish would publish their memoirs:
He’s an icon. He’s an actor. He’s a producer. He’s an environmentalist. He has a super-hot wife. He has a son that looks startlingly like him. And he has a younger son trying to forge a career as a white rapper. He’s played a mentally-challenged man who stole America’s hearts and a Harvard professor who melts hearts…of college English majors. I can’t imagine how much interesting stuff Hanks would have to say in his memoir. And given his support of independent, locally-owned bookstores, one would hope that Hanks would publish with a great independent publisher like Chelsea Green or Chronicle Books.
Funnyman Will Arnett seemingly lives a charmed life: he’s the father of two, healthy young sons, his wife Amy Poehler has a hit show, he has an on-going guest role on 30 Rock, there’s an Arrested Development movie in the works. He and Jason Bateman just started a production company for viral videos with product placement, which puts him at the forefront of the entertainment industry, figuring out how to evolve as technology and new media are changing the way Hollywood works (and he’s poised to make some serious dough from it).
But believe it or not, in 2000, Arnett almost quit acting. He’d started to gain some recognition from casting executives, who were hiring him to do pilots of what could be “the next big sitcom.” Unfortunately, every pilot he acted in either wasn’t picked up, was picked up and then promptly cancelled, or cut out his character after being picked up. When his agent called him to audition for the pilot for a new show called Arrested Development, Arnett wasn’t too excited: he was over pilots. That would have been “a huge mistake,” because while Arrested Development was short-lived, it launched Arnett into a career as a comedian who appeals just as much to fratty Blades of Glory fans as he does to more cerebral TV viewers who can’t get enough of his Devon Banks character on 30 Rock. If Will Arnett wrote a book, Arrested Development fans across the country would probably buy the book in hardcover and for their Kindles!
Aubrey Plaza doesn’t care whether you think she’s sexy or talented or one of the most up-and-coming young actresses in Hollywood. That’s half her appeal. Her twitter handle is “@evilhag” and she appears about that friendly in her tweets. But Aubrey Plaza is poised to become the next Tina Fey: she started as an NBC page in New York, did the requisite comedy performances at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theaters in New York and LA, and landed roles in Funny People, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the Derrick Comedy movie Mystery Team, and on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. She’s never in Us Weekly magazine and doesn’t appear to have a celebrity boyfriend, an underwear shortage, or a Range Rover…so she could probably give a great glimpse into being a successful and career-focused woman in Hollywood.
Seth Rogen was a Canadian teenager who had just relocated to LA for first TV show, Freaks and Geeks, when the show was rather quickly and unceremoniously canceled. He did the young-scruffy-and-out-of-work thing in LA for awhile, but he was also mentored by mega-producer Judd Apatow, who steered Rogen towards a writing/acting film career. Rogen wrote the oft-quoted raunchy coming-of-age comedy Superbad, and the number of movies he’s appeared in would run on too long. Safe to say, he has some interesting stories and we’d like to hear them.
Mary Louise Parker
What’s it like to play one of the most lusted-after moms on TV? And what’s it like to play a heroine who does at least three illegal things every episode? And what’s it like to star in a show that’s in its sixth season when you don’t get along with the show’s creator/ executive producer (and haven’t for years)? Mary Louise Parker, Madonna of pot-smokers—or simply Showtime subscribers—could talk about her life as the heroine of Weeds and perhaps could dish on her notorious feud with her show’s creator Jenji Kohan. And hopefully she’d talk about whether she gets to keep any of the clothes from her amazing Nancy Botwin wardrobe.
The Army of Former Scott Rudin Assistants
If you haven’t seen a movie that was produced by Scott Rudin, you probably haven’t been to the movies in the past ten years. Scott Rudin is a major movie producer who specializes in making books into movies. He was behind The Hours, The Social Network, Julie and Julia, Revolutionary Road, Stepford Wives, Lemony Snicket, it goes on. And it gets ugly. He’s a confirmed lunatic/ rageaholic, serving as the inspiration for Kevin Spacey’s character in the film Swimming with Sharks for how he torments his five, always-on-call assistants. It’s fair to assume that Rudin’s assistants either sign one hell of a non-disclosure agreement when they join his office. But on the off-chance that they don’t, and on the off-chance that someone who endures a stint as Rudin’s assistant loses their interest in working in Hollywood (who could blame them?), this assistant’s book would probably make the Devil Wears Prada look like children’s bedtime reading.
If Lindsay Lohan wrote an honest-to-God memoir, where she didn’t hire a ghostwriter, and she told the truth (the whole truth), and was earnest and authentic and TRUTHFUL, her memoir would sell so many copies that Borders would have profits like Bear Stearns circa 2005.
Halle Berry isn’t just a multitalented actress and one of the highest paid women in Hollywood. She’s a style icon who can go from wearing a leather catwoman costume on set by day to a ballgown on the red carpet by night. She was the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for best actress, which puts her in the company of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey for African American women achieving great “firsts.” She’s forged a massively successful career for herself without getting entangled in Hollywood drama (short of her ex-boyfriend dating Kim Kardashian and Berry asserting that she didn’t want her daughter Nahla anywhere near the cameras that follow Kardashian around for her reality show on E!) And how does an actress navigate doing “serious” literary parts but be just as convincing in action flicks? The beauty of Halle Berry writing a hypothetical book is that she has such integrity, she’d probably write her memoir herself. That, we can definitely get behind.
Your turn! Which celebrities (or general public figures) do you wish would write books about their lives?