Book Review – Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and all the rest of my Hollywood Friends by John Leguizamo

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John Leguizamo is an accomplished actor and writer who has been in films like Romeo & JulietSpawn, and infamously Super Mario Bros. This autobiography takes an uncensored look at his accomplishments and his co-stars, with frank revelations and a mature perspective on his own flaws.

Leguizamo is an actor that a lot of people might not recognise from just the name, but once you show them a picture they’ll say, ‘Ohhh, him!’ I’ve always enjoyed his performances and given that this book promised to have some juicy stories in it I was eager to read, especially since he has worked on some of my favourite films. And there is a lot of this in the book, because he’s a forthright individual and he doesn’t cloak his words in innuendo. It’s a refreshing take compared to some other biographies that I’ve read, as a lot of them tiptoe around naming names, but Leguizamo isn’t afraid to talk about his co-stars.

However, if that’s all you’re coming for then you might be disappointed because while that stuff is included in the book it’s still an autobiography, not a book about gossip. He opens up about his family and some of the struggles he dealt with growing up and early on in his career, and how he’s always strived to escape typecasting. A lot of the detail goes into his personal projects like the stand-up shows, which I actually didn’t realize he did. So while this is informative it may not be as interesting as the tales about him working on movies, but at the end of the day it’s his autobiography so he can write about whatever he wants to write about.

He’s a fun writer though and the words are infused with the same energy he brings to the screen. Parts had me laughing out loud, and his sense of humour really comes through. I do think though that the ‘Hollywood Friends’ part is overstated, so I was a little disappointed as I expected his Hollywood life to take up most of the book, and sometimes in autobiographies it can be difficult to keep interest in things when you have no context for them. Having not seen any of his stand-up shows I felt uninformed, although it was still interesting to read from a creative standpoint.

I thought it was a fun read and even if you don’t have that much of an interest in John Leguizamo he comes across as a warm, funny guy with no airs, so as you’re reading he makes you feel like he’s talking to you as a buddy. Definitely get this if you’re a fan of autobiographies. It’s one of the most refreshing I’ve read.

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