If you’ve ever seen the YouTube video of Joel Silver pleading with Venice locals to buy their precious post office (and convert it into a production office), you have to laugh at how he introduces himself. “Die Hard, Predator, The Matrix, Lethal Weapon… [this goes on for a while]… I produced all those films, I’m Joel Silver.” His boasting is appropriate. There are not many Producers in Hollywood who could show off like that, let alone screenwriters. But there is ONE SCREENWRITER who definitely can, and that’s Joe Eszterhas. His book, Hollywood Animal is pretty much that Joel Silver resume bit for 400 pages – but with sex, juicy anecdotes, more sex, celebrity stories that goes beyond the imaginative mind, cancer, Nazis, Sylvester Stallone, Mike Ovitz, Shane Black…
Before the Mel Gibson thing, Big Joe was taking no shit as much as he possibly could. Something writers sorely need to begin doing.
Like Silver, Big Joe would introduce himself with “Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Music Box, Jagged Edge, Flashdance, Betrayed, Jade…” and so on and so forth. I really wish Danny McBride and co. would stop making “East Bound and Down” and just recycle that same character to “Hollywood Animal.” I would definitely watch it. It’s got everything Kenny Powers in it, but better. Because it was real. And us wimpy, computer-glued, up at dawn, espresso-loving, four-eyed screenwriters need a hero like this on HBO!
– He sleeps with Sharon Stone
– He hangs out with John Candy (who has a bar for an office)
– He has affairs left and right while shuttling back and forth from San Francisco to Hollywood.
– And of course, there’s “the fall”…
His wife divorces him after he falls for the woman who got dumped because Sharon Stone seduced her husband. PLUS he finds out a dark secret about one of his parents which is incredibly similar to one of his scripts.
McBride was born to play Eszterhas! Read this bible-sized Tinseltown thing and tell me I’m wrong. And hopefully the day Silver completes that production office (former post office), there will a huge billboard above it that reads “Danny McBride is… Hollywood Animal… only on HBO.”
Are you book-wormy? If so, check out a few of my other book reviews:
STANLEY KUBRICK and MOI
Aristotles Poetics for Screenwriters
Levinson on Levinson
Writer got Screwed… did he have to?
Empire of Dreams
Written by: Norith Soth