I’ll get to that in a second.
But first let me remind you that Brooks is up for all sort of awards for his hipster performance as a Jewish gangster in Drive.
Of course it didn’t happen overnight. In a Film Society of Lincoln Center talk that I attended in my surgical shoes, Brooks talked about his scenic drive to this current career place.
Originally, he had no intention of doing comedy — it was considered deeply unhip at the time — but Richard Dreyfuss was nabbing all the acting roles for 20-year-olds, so stand-up beckoned and Brooks did well with it.
Until he had to open for Sly and the Family Stone in Seattle.
“The audience was like he was,” he related. “So loaded on every imaginable drug! It’s a miracle that he and Zsa Zsa Gabor are still living.”
(Bear in mind this was two nights ago. Someone check for updates.)
Brooks said he was supposed to do a 30-minute opening set, but Sly’s manager begged him to go way longer. “Why?” he wondered. “Sly is in Ohio,” the manager explained.
Horrified, Brooks went on and got pelted by beer bottles from the angry audience. And the second this gig from hell ended, he promptly quit stand-up and went into acting.
Oh, the movies he had to turn down (because he was working on films he was writing/directing at the time)?
Dead Poets Society, Big, and Pretty Woman.
“The Richard Gere role,” he explained.
Still doing comedy!