The veteran character actor looks back on his first 10 years in Hollywood as a time of magical dreams and sobering realities.
Guttenberg has made more than 50 films since first striking out for Hollywood as a brash teen in the late 1970s. Here he ably captures that 18-year-old’s sense of awe and excitement as he began his career. First, he managed to sneak onto the Paramount lot where he promptly set up a private office and began engineering his own auditions. From there, he was soon enjoying a shvitz with Michael Landon and trading lines on set with Richard Widmark. Guttenberg has a fine ear for dialogue, and depictions of his regular calls back home to his salt-of-the-earth mom and dad are amusing and heartwarming. The fun and excitement slows a bit as his career begins to sputter. He eventually realized that no matter how much success he achieved, he would always be a hired hand, never quite sure where the next job would be. Meanwhile, multiple liaisons with assorted starlets and stalkers throughout the years get scant attention. Guttenberg isn’t interested in naming names. Explaining just how tough it’s been keeping his mug on the silver screen for all these years seems to be enough for him. The career gymnastics he has displayed adroitly leapfrogging from films like Cocoon to Three Men and a Baby are wholly entertaining on their own. Aspiring actors will surely gain keen insight into the challenges that may await them (if they’re lucky), while movie fans will be pleasantly assured that their faith in the dream factory’s ability to inspire is still warranted.
An insider’s charming look at what it’s really like to be a Hollywood star.