The patriarch and scion of one of America’s best-known acting families take turns sharing the stories of their lives, careers and relationship.
The 2010 film The Way, written and directed by Estevez and starring Sheen, tells the story of a man who completes the journey along the Camino de Santiago pilgrim’s path begun by his son, who died en route. The movie provides the entry point for the authors—assisted by Edelman (The Possibility of Everything, 2009, etc.)—to relate their life stories, focusing on acting, faith, family and the filming of The Way. Sheen, born Ramon Estevez, the son of a Spanish immigrant father and Irish immigrant mother, grew up in a large Catholic family in Dayton, Ohio. Emilio Estevez was raised in Malibu, Calif., and on film and TV sets around the world as his father struggled to make a career as an actor and keep his family together. On the whole, the alternating voices work well, highlighting the similarities and differences in the father and son’s paths to professional and personal success and noting the failures and obstacles on the way. Estevez’s description of his experiences as a 14-year-old on the Philippines set of Apocalypse Now is particularly noteworthy, adding an extra dimension to the well-documented insanity of that film’s creation. The drawback to a double memoir becomes evident after a while, however, as the stories of auditions and film sets, fascinating though they may be, lessen the impact of what is intended to be the main focus: the life lessons each man draws from their father-son relationship.
Shedding light on the creation of a unique family and an American acting dynasty, this book is certain to become a Father’s Day gift staple for West Wing and Repo Man fans alike.