But what I really want to do is direct…

I was watching a movie t’other week on the telly-box starring that wunderkind of nineties indie films, Ethan Hawke, when I suddenly remembered that he had also written a novel that I had actually enjoyed reading. And so I wondered “How many other bona fide movie stars have written novels”?

My idle musings started well as Carrie Fisher’s work immediately sprung to mind. Postcards from the edge would have to be her most well-known book (due to the successful film starring Meryl Streep) but she’s also penned The best awful and Surrender the pink. Her latest non-fiction work, the punnily titled Wishful drinking, hit the library shelves just recently.

And then my movie star novelist list ground to a halt. There are plenty of actors of varying degrees of fame in both films and television that have written novels, but none that I really judged to be “stars”. Until I came across Steve Martin, who in addition to acting and directing has written several novels and plays. One of his novels Shopgirl was made into a film of the same name starring…Steve Martin, natch.

I did discover in my poking around in the catalogue and Googling that there are a healthy swag of British thesps who have written fiction. What is it about British comic actors that makes them more likely to pen novels than other actors or actresses I wonder? Amongst the field are such names as – Michael Palin, Ben Elton, Ardal O’Hanlon (aka Father Dougal), Julie Walters, Meera Syal, Nigel Planer (Neil, when he was a Young One) and the inimitable Stephen Fry. I’m also intrigued by the novels of Rupert Everett, luvvie playboy extraordinaire, but sadly we don’t have any of his, though I may try out his autobiography. It sounds a hoot.

And back to Ethan Hawke, which is where we sort of started.  His book The hottest state is now a movie, written, directed by, and starring Mr Ethan Hawke.  Maybe writing a novel is a good way of securing yourself a directing gig?

Does anybody else have any favourite actor-slash-novelists to add to the mix?

8 thoughts on “But what I really want to do is direct…

  1. Rachael King 24 March 2009 / 1:34 pm

    Apparently James Franco has just had his book of short stories accepted for publication. And there’s Miranda July of course.

  2. Michael A 24 March 2009 / 4:30 pm

    Having read a few Ben Eltons I can only comment that he would be best to stick to stand-up and scripts.

  3. mog 25 March 2009 / 11:50 am

    And then there are all the celebrities who have ‘written’ children’s books. I would have thought that children were more discerning readers, and they usually recognise that most of these books as fairly rubbish. It makes me annoyed that most of these books wouldn’t be touched (let anlone published!) by any publishing house if the author weren’t already famous.

  4. jane 25 March 2009 / 11:52 am

    Our favourtie pin-up girl, Pamela Anderson – pruduced “Star Struck” and I have a vague memory of Niaomi Campbell writing something a while back,although I think “writing” is probably not quite the right word, as ghost writers were involved in both cases.

  5. Michael A 25 March 2009 / 2:15 pm

    …and of course there’s Fergie

  6. Jason 26 March 2009 / 10:45 am

    Mark Gatiss of League of Gentlemen fame.

  7. joyciescotland 26 March 2009 / 12:00 pm

    Kylie Minogue’s The Showgirl Princess is sparkly, sequinned schlock..Madonna and Geri Halliwell also fancied themselves as childrens authors, Madonna dressed up like a school marm of yesteryear for the book launch, a lot more comfortable than her usual fishnet g-string!

  8. jane 26 March 2009 / 2:39 pm

    Jamie Curtis can also be added to the childrens list.

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