I Blame Dennis Hopper


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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.


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Illeana Douglas is known for playing funny and fearless characters in films such as To Die For, Goodfellas, and Cape Fear, and in television shows like Six Feet Under and Ugly Betty. Her work has earned her awards and legions of fans. But Douglas is not just a woman who’s made her life on the silver screen; in I Blame Dennis Hopper, she reveals how movies have made her life.

In 1969, Douglas’s parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking to heart Dennis Hopper’s words “That’s what it’s all about, man,” they abandoned their comfortable upper-middle-class lives for one filled with hippies, free spirits, and free love. Douglas calls in her “Easy Rider” childhood and writes, “Since it was all out of control, I began to think of my life as a movie.” it’s a strategy she’s never quite abandoned.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a rollicking, funny, tender celebration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas explains how a good Liza Minelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Vallée taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. Writing from the perspective of both an insider of Hollywood and the ultimate movie fan, Douglas shares hilarious anecdotes with celebrities, bizarre coincidences with movie stars from yesteryear, and fateful meetings with screen legends that seem, well, right out of the plot of a movie. From the descriptions of her first experience being on set with her grandfather Melvyn Douglas, to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her bloodcurdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring alongside Robert De Niro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award-winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is a memoir told through movies.

It is also a genuine reminder of what we all love about film: the glitz, the glamour, the sweat, passion, humor and the escape that movies offer us all.

 

“Illeana asked me for a quote, so I suggested about a hundred dollars… Illeana is not only a child of the movies, but also a grandchild. She writes beautifully and movingly about how she came to be who she is.”
– ERIC IDLE,  founding member of Monty Python and Tony Award-winning writer of Spamalot

“I’ve talked to Illeana Douglas about her life. Her family roots are crazy, groovy, harsh, and a bit glamorous. I’m thrilled she’s wrangled that into prose form. She’s quirky, hilarious, and deep. I love her. I’ve always loved her. Haven’t we all?”
– MARC MARON, comedian and bestselling author of Attempting Normal

“Illeana Douglas takes you through her years in Hollywood and beyond the same way she experienced them – by happy, hilarious accident. The revelations that fly off the pages of this book are cringe-inducing, gut-busting, and terrifying, usually all at once.”
– PATTON OSWALT, New York Times bestselling author of Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland

“Illeana Douglas is an incredibly talented, smart, and funny storyteller. This book is compelling to read from start to finish. She either knows or has worked with so many significant names in film that in researching, she broke my IMDB.”
– BOB SAGET, actor and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Dirty Daddy

“Illeana has done what no other movie memoir has ever achieved; she takes us on a journey through the personal, the chaotic, the droll, the ecstatic, the hilarious, the surreal and moving life in moving pictures, hers, and ours. As beautiful as it is exhilarating, I Blame Dennis Hopper not only gives us a rich texture of the life of an American girl coming of age in a wild time, but the most perfect book I’ve ever read of life on the set through a filmmaker’s eye. Gorgeous.”
– ALLISON ANDERS, award-winning director of Grace of My Heart and Gas Food Lodging

“I Blame Dennis Hopper is genius. I couldn’t put it down. Illeana completely captures the enchantment of film in a charming and hilarious way. More than that, it reminded me of my own passion for movies and of acting. Very, very inspirational.”
– JEFF GOLDBLUM

“Illeana is far beyond just an actress, she’s a student of all things cinema. This book is funny, poignant. and at moments, surprising. This is definitely one of those times where you should read the book before you see the movie. (See what I did there?)”
– ADAM CAROLLA, New York Times bestselling author of Not Taco Bell Material and President Me

“I devoured this book as if it were a giant box of popcorn! It isn’t easy to put your thoughts, hopes dreams, and disappointments in to words, but Illeana Douglas has done it with equal parts candor and humor. I thoroughly enjoyed this disarming memoir.”
– LEONARD MALTIN, film critic and bestselling author

“Illeana has always been known as the thinking man’s sex symbol. This book makes it clear why.”
– JAMES WOODS


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Illeana Douglas has starred in films including Goodfellas, Cape Fear, To Die For, Picture Perfect, and Ghostworld, as well as TV shows from Six Feet Under to Welcome to Sweden. The web series she created and starred in, Easy to Assemble has been watched by millions. As part of the Turner Classic Movies family, she hosted Second Looks and has done film introductions and meorable interviews with some of Hollywood’s greatest. She’s probably watching a movie right now.