Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins Review
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Wherever actor/writer/man-about-town Rupert Everett shows up, drama is sure to follow—and that’s the way it’s always been. Raised in a privileged British family, young Roo discovered a passion for acting at an early age—when his mother took him to see Mary Poppins. He didn’t even make it to the end of his first viewing—because he was sobbing so dramatically that he had to be removed from the theater.

In Everett’s autobiography, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, he tells plenty of tales about growing up in the British countryside and being sent off to boarding school. The stories are wry and witty and attention-grabbing—but once he leaves school and packs his bags for London, things really start to get interesting.

It seems, as you make your way through the pages of his autobiography, as though Everett has done everything. He’s been everywhere. And he knows just about everyone. He’s befriended the seediest and the most highly regarded of characters. He’s been in theater and film. He’s traveled the world and met fascinating people. And, fortunately, he’s also a captivating storyteller. Though his 400-page tome often meanders a bit, wandering through long asides and skipping back and forth in time—and though he knows so many people that it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of them all—the distractions are well worth wading through. Because, for the most part, Red Carpets is deliciously gossipy. You’ll find stories about Everett’s friendships and/or encounters with Madonna, Sharon Stone, Donatella Versace, and Julia Roberts. You’ll read about Everett’s youthful obsession with Ian McKellan—and about Roddy McDowell, Andy Warhol, director John Schlesinger, Orson Welles, Colin Firth, and more. And you’ll travel from backstage at the theater to Liz Taylor’s garden to post-communist Russia to the beaches in Miami to major movie sets to the poorest parts of Haiti. You’ll meet his friends, his family, and his beloved dog, Mo. And though he merely alludes to some aspects of his life (like his work as a novelist), you’ll get a pretty good overview of his loves, his losses, his ups and downs, and (especially) the people he’s met along the way. (Have I already mentioned that he’s met everyone?)

Though the book does have its sentimental and melancholy moments—especially as Everett talks about the friends he’s lost and the huge changes brought about by the AIDS epidemic—it’s clear that Everett had a lot of fun writing his memoirs. And I had a lot of fun reading them.

It may not be the quickest, most mindless read, but it’s worth the extra time. Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins is vividly written—and it’s juicier and more revealing than a year’s subscription to People. If you’re a sucker for Hollywood gossip, run right out and pick up a copy.

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