The cult favorite looks back.
Perlman, the veteran character actor perhaps best known for his starring roles in TV’s Sons of Anarchy and the Hellboy film franchise, recounts his life and career in an engagingly off-the-cuff manner. Unfortunately, the details of his personal life aren’t particularly noteworthy, and his admirable focus on positivity renders most of his showbiz anecdotes rather bland. The exception is his amusingly baffled account of the filming of the notoriously troubled remake of The Island of Doctor Moreau, which was essentially hijacked by the inscrutable and monumentally frustrating star Marlon Brando—for whom the author expresses boundless affection and respect. Perlman is candid about insecurities regarding his unique looks and oddly paced career—in which unusual properties, such as the caveman epic Quest for Fire, the medieval mystery The Name of the Rose and the hit supernatural soap Beauty and the Beast, would lead to enormous buzz followed by long periods of unemployment as Hollywood struggled to consistently service the difficult-to-categorize actor whose appearance changed radically from project to project—but the book would have benefitted from a greater emphasis on the creation of Perlman’s cult favorites and less on his personal emotional struggles. Still, the actor’s voice, full of casual profanity, vintage hipster slang and an endearing tendency to overreach with elevated vocabulary, is as distinctive as his craggy features and imposing screen presence. He’s good company on the page, and fans may wish for further musings on the stories behind the vivid monsters he has so memorably brought to the screen. In closing, he writes, “just so I get off on the right foot, here’s a little tip for you talent out there: make sure your people show you everything that is offered.”
A likable but inessential showbiz memoir.