Fucking brilliant! Ron gives a great insight into his life and work. How he grew up, who the people are who've influenced him the most. What it was liFucking brilliant! Ron gives a great insight into his life and work. How he grew up, who the people are who've influenced him the most. What it was like to be the "fat kid", how low self esteem can haunt you even when you are successful. He talks openly about his depression, a suicide attempt and how therapy has managed to turn around the way he sees himself. I cried several times reading this, on the tube, at work, but don't think this was told in a depressing way. It was told through some of the most amusing and funny stories you'll read.
I've been a fan of Ron's since the days of Beauty and the Beast. That show taught me everything I knew about love and acceptance. Things that were virtually nonexistence in my own life so I took what I could from the way Vincent and Catherine treated each other. And buried the words they said to each other deep in my heart. It was great reading this book to see how much respect Ron had for the show and what it was trying to do. There's always a worry that something could be just a job, but he got it. He also mentioned how Linda's bipolar disorder affected her work, even though they didn't know what it was then. How he tried to create a safe space for her when she was having one of her bad days. How he was so impressed with everything she'd done speaking up about her mental illness and the work she'd done to promote mental health issues. One of the many times I cried.
One of the stories that stuck with me the most was when Ron heard that Quest for fire had definitely been cancelled. How he had a 100 bucks left and went to watch baseball, getting the best ticket and buying beers for everyone seated with him. While I personally don't care at all for baseball. I LOVED this idea of meeting disappointment with celebration. There was also a wonderful moment when he talked about how he'd come to terms with not being successful or famous. When he realised if he didn't get any more roles he could return to New York and teach and as long as his wife and children. Which was lovely.
There were also stories of him meeting his idols Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando which were very funy! (Turns out Frank always had his family tape Beauty and the Beast). The Marlon Brando story was one of the few times he talked in detail about working on a set.
He was also discreetly talking about when things worked and when they didn't on Sons of Anarchy. Which I totally agreed with.
Then there were the last two chapters which were an AMAZING and inspiring rant about how shit Hollywood has become. How corporations have control over everything and have ruined it all. How lawyers and marketing are turning out the worst shit, how there is so little actual art left and how his goal is to try and produce things worthwhile in the years he has left. Ron is very honest in the book about all the work he did to support his family. Things that were just a paycheck because he had kids at private school and to him being a father who could provide for them was the most important thing.
I read this book because decades ago Ron played a character who inspired me more than anything else I'd known. Years later I'm so glad to have read this as now I'm inspired by the person behind the character. One who presents the best and worst parts of themselves and is always looking for the better.