Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Drive-by: SIMON CALLOW

Simon Callow is best-known for his acting (Amadeus, Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings & a Funeral), but he's also a well-reviewed author. The second volume of his biography of Orson Welles was published recently, and today he stopped by the store to sign copies. He'd just done an interview on KPCC with Larry Mantle and seemed relaxed and casual; he was wearing flip-flops, which seemed a bit startling: it drew a sharp line between the man and the characters he plays.

I asked Mr. Callow if he'd known Orson Welles, and he said no, sounding relieved -- he thinks Welles would probably have tried to take over the writing of the biography and change everything around to suit his fancy. Mr. Callow also inquired as to the availability of a forthcoming Welles biography in which the author, he believes, has something blistering to say about him and his take on Welles's life. He didn't seem too perturbed by the notion and seemed to want to read the passage for his own amusement.

I was left with the impression that Simon Callow is a great raconteur and would probably make the most delightful dinner companion.

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