Synopses & Reviews
John Leguizamo defies easy categorization. Fans of his smash-hit one-man shows (Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, Freak,
) have gotten a glimpse into his life, but this book tells the whole story, taking readers on a journey from his childhood in Queens ("my father was a strict autocrat-totalitarian-despot-dictator-disciplinarian") to his current home at the top of the Hollywood pyramidand#8212;actor, director, producer, one of the highest-paid Latin actors in the world, with the clout to shape every aspect of his own career.
Beginning on the classic New York comedy club circuit, where he made the rounds with Ray Romano, Mario Cantone, and Chris Rock, through his disastrous one-night run as Puck in Joseph Papp's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, to his brief go at Method acting with Lee Strasberg (who died the next day; "I have that effect on people") and his hit Broadway debut with Freak, the protean performer shares the stories behind his many rolesand#8212;what inspired them and what transpired as he created them. Never shy, he dishes on his personal relationships with his family, friends, and colleagues, including Spike Lee, Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Harrison Ford, Brian De Palma, Al Pacino, Baz Luhrmann, and Nicole Kidman.
Keenly intelligent and insanely funny, this book offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the magic and chaos of stardom, as well as an intimate portrait of John Leguizamo's greatest achievementand#8212;to grow up Latino in America and to succeed on his terms.
"In this brash autobiography, comic Leguizamo recalls a life lived 'on the fine line between acting and acting out.' Readers who know his celebrated one-man shows, Mambo Mouth and Spic-O-Rama among them, will recognize some of the same people and topics: the doting mom, authoritarian father, brother Serge and the author's perpetually adolescent fascination with sex. Familiar, too, are the chameleonlike shifts of tone and theme Leguizamo's trickster charm and outspoken ethnic pride can morph to candid yet searing takes on money, fame and the acting life. Mostly, Leguizamo tracks his maturation and unlikely rise from a smart-ass acting tyro born in Colombia and raised in Queens, N.Y., to an award-winning actor, director and family man. As he puts it: 'I'm a horrible example of how to have a successful career.' Yet Leguizamo makes this story full of behavioral quirks and professional beefs memorable. Whether he is being tough on Latin stereotypes or describing his sexual conquests, the text is hilarious propelled by jokes, quips and situations in which the author usually finds himself driven to reaction instead of reflection. This mix of the glib and the sometimes glam presents a refreshing cultural tonic." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Leguizamo is one of the most excting talents to come along in some time.” USA Today
“This mix of the glib and the sometimes glam presents a refreshing cultural tonic.” Publishers Weekly
“[Leguizamo is] a remarkably mature writer . . . Astonishing.” Newsweek
“Brutally funny.” The New York Times
“Leguizamos autobiography is as singular as the man himself. ” Library Journal
“The high point: his breezy honesty.” Entertainment Weekly
Fans of Leguizamo's smash-hit one-man shows have gotten a glimpse into his life, but his book tells the whole story, taking readers on a journey from his childhood in Queens to his current perch at the top of the Hollywood pyramid--actor, director, producer, and the highest-paid Latin actor in the world.
The popular Colombian-American actor and comedian traces his childhood in Queens, early work on the New York comedy club circuit, relationships with fellow celebrities, and stage and screen successes. 50,000 first printing.
Fans of John Leguizamo's smash-hit one-man shows (Mambo Mouth, Spic-o-rama, Freak, and Sexaholix) have already gotten a glimpse into his life, but this book tells the whole story, carrying readers along on a wild journey from his childhood in Queens to his current home at the top of the Hollywood pyramid. An acclaimed director, producer, and play-wright, and one of the highest-paid Latin actors in the world, Leguizamo shares the stories behind his many roles—what inspired them and what transpired as he created them—while dishing on his personal relationships with his family, friends, and celebrity colleagues. Here is both an intimate self-portrait and a unique behind-the-scenes look at the magic and chaos of stardom, a keenly intelligent and insanely funny book that celebrates a remarkably talented artist's greatest achievement: growing up Latino in America and succeeding on his own terms.
About the Author
John Leguizamo was born in Colombia in 1964 and immigrated to Queens, New York, with his family when he was four years old. He began his career as a stand-up comedian in various New York clubs, and has gone on to critically acclaimed performances on film, television, and Broadway. He lives in New York City.