Posts Tagged ‘Bret Easton Ellis’

By Bret Easton Ellis (

With his tweets, his manic interviews, his insurgent campaign against the entertainment world, Sheen is giving America exactly what it wants out of a modern celebrity. In the full version of an article that appeared in this week’s Newsweek, Bret Easton Ellis explains how you are completely missing the point if you think Sheen’s meltdown is about drugs.

“Drugs” is the first word Charlie Sheen utters in his only scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, an epic from the summer of 1986 whose ad line was “Leisure Rules,” and the one John Hughes teen movie that has remained the least dated. This four minute scene, expertly written and directed, takes place in a police station where Jeannie Bueller (Jennifer Grey), waiting to get bailed out by her mom and, fuming about brother Ferris’s charmingly anarchic ways (he breaks all the rules and is happy; she follows all the rules and is unhappy), realizes she’s sitting next to a gorgeous (he was!) sullen-eyed dude in a leather jacket who looks like he’s been up for days on a drug binge. But he’s not manic, just tired and sexily calm, his face so pale it’s almost violet-hued. Annoyed, Jeannie asks, “Why are you here?” and Charlie, dead-panned, replies, without regret: “Drugs.” And then he slowly disarms her bitchiness with his outrageously sexy insouciance, transforming her annoyance into delight (they end up making out).

That’s when we first really noticed Charlie Sheen, and it’s the key moment in his movie career (it now seems to define and sum up everything that followed). He hasn’t been as entertaining since. Until now. In getting himself fired from Two and a Half Men, this privileged child of the media’s sprawling entertainment Empire has now become its most gifted prankster. And now Sheen has embraced the post-Empire, making his bid to explain to all of us what celebrity means in that world. Whether you like it or not is beside the point. It’s where we are, babe. We’re learning something. Rock’n roll. Deal with it.

Post-Empire started appearing in full-force just about everywhere last year while Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” gleefully played over the soundtrack. The Kardashians so get it. The cast (and the massive audience) of Jersey Shore gets it. Lady Gaga arriving at the Grammys in an egg gets it, and she gets it while staring at Anderson Cooper (Empire!) and admitting she likes to smoke weed when she writes songs—basically daring him: “What are you gonna do about that, bitch?” Nicki Minaj gets it when she sings “Right Thru Me” and becomes one of her many alter-egos on a red carpet. (Christina Aguilera starring in Burlesque doesn’t get it at all.) Ricky Gervais’s hosting of the Golden Globes got it. Robert Downey Jr., getting pissed off at Gervais, did not. Robert De Niro even got it, subtly ridiculing his career and his lifetime achievement trophy at the same awards show. John Mayer (the original poster boy for post-Empire) gets it in his legendary Playboy interview and his TMZ appearances (he was the first celebrity to get what a game changer TMZ was) and one of Mayer’s leftovers, Taylor Swift, gets it, taking on Mayer (who casually used and dumped her) and even Kanye West (whose interruption of Swift on the VMAs scored a major post-Empire moment as well as creating the masterpiece post-Empire single “Runaway”) in two devastating songs about them on her latest record. James Franco not taking the Oscar telecast seriously but treating it with gentle disrespect (which is exactly what the show deserves) totally got it. (Anne Hathaway, unfortunately, didn’t get it, but we like her anyway for getting naked and jiggy with Jake G.) Post-Empire is Mark Zuckerberg staring with blank impatience at Empire Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes and telling her how The Social Network and its genesis story (he creates Facebook because he was rejected by a bitchy girl!) got it totally wrong (which it did; he was right; sorry, Empire Aaron Sorkin).

Empire is complaining that the characters in Jonathan Franzen’s great 2010 novel Freedom aren’t “likable” enough. And it should also go without saying that Banksy gets it more than just about anyone right now. For every outspoken I-don’t-give-a-shit Empire celebrity like Muhammad Ali or Andy Warhol or Norman Mailer or Bob Dylan or John Lennon, there were a dozen Madonnas (one of the queens of the Empire who was never real or funny enough to get it—everything interesting about her now seems in retrospect dreadfully earnest) and Michael Jacksons (the ultimate victim of Empire celebrity—a tortured boy lover and drug addict who humorlessly denied he was either). To someone my age (47) Keith Richards (67) in his memoir Life has a kind of rare healthy post-Empire geezer transparency. But for my younger friends, it’s no longer rare; it’s now just the norm. What does shame mean anymore? my friends in their 20s ask. Why in the hell did your boyfriend post a song called “Suck My Ballz” on Facebook last night? my mom asks. But nothing yet compares to the transparency that Sheen has unleashed in the past two weeks—contempt about celebrity, his profession, the old Empire world order…

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A sneak peek behind the scenes of the new CW show, All That Glitters, from acclaimed writer of “American Psycho” and “Less Than Zero”, Bret Easton Ellis. All That Glitters takes us into the lives of the hot, young, sexy and rich crowd that struggles with everyday life.” Okay, I did a double take too when I read the title and that Bret Easton Ellis was behind this. It’s Funny or Die. A spoof. For a brief moment, I imagined a world where a cool show like this, written by one of the most important modern authors, would actually be made.

Ellis’s popular novels are about vapid rich people doing horrible things: drugs, meaningless sex, models, serial murders, etc. While many of the stories have elements of humour, it is the kind of black comedy that is so realistic the audience almost forgets it’s satire. But not many of the adaptations of Ellis’s works are very good, or rather anywhere near as good as the written word. That’s why this Funny Or Die spoof rings so true — you can see the CW putting ‘All That Glitters’ in their line-up alongside ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘90210.’ However, unless Ellis falls on really hard times, it’s doubtful you’ll ever see him produce a TV series for any network beside HBO or Showtime, but I can dream.


Imperial Bedrooms is the seventh novel from Bret Easton Ellis and was released on June 15. The sequel to Less Than Zero, the young Ellis’ 1985 bestselling literary debut, which was shortly followed by film adaptation in 1987, Imperial Bedrooms revisits Less Than Zero’s self-destructive and disillusioned youths as they approach middle-age in the present day. Like Ellis’ earlier novel, which took its name from Elvis Costello’s 1977 song of the same name, Imperial Bedrooms is named after Costello’s 1982 album. In 2009, Ellis teased the first line of his novel: “They made a movie about us.” Twenty-five years on, Less Than Zero’s protagonist Clay is a screenwriter in New York, who returns to Los Angeles to cast his new film adaptation.

Excerpt from Bret Easton Ellis’ sequel to Less Than Zero.
“I love the view,” Rain says, holding a tumbler of tequila, standing on the balcony overlooking the city. I’m staring past her down at the empty space on Elevado where the Jeep was parked and it’s three in the morning and I come up behind her and down below the wind gently drapes palm fronds over the rippling water of the Doheny Plaza’s lit pool and the only light in the condo comes from the Christmas tree in the corner and Counting Crows’ “A Long December” plays softly in the background.

“Don’t you have a boyfriend?” I ask. “Someone . . .more age-appropriate than me?”

“Guys my age are idiots,” she says, turning around.

“Guys my age are awful.”

“I have news for you,” I say, leaning into her. “So are guys my age.”

“But you look good for your age,” she says, stroking my face. “You look ten years younger,” she says. “You’ve had work done, right?” Her fingers keep combing the hair that had been dyed the week before. Her other hand runs along the sleeve of the T-shirt with the skateboard logo on it. In the bedroom she lets me go down on her and after I make her come she lets me slide in.

During the last week of December if we aren’t in bed we’re at the movies or watching screeners and Rain simply nods when I tell her everything that’s wrong with the movie we’ve just seen and she doesn’t argue back. “I liked it,” she will say, putting a light touch on everything, her upper lip always provocatively lifted, her eyes always drained of intent, programmed not to be challenging or negative. This is someone trying to stay young because she knows that what matters most to you is the youthful surface. This is supposed to be part of the appeal: keep everything young and soft, keep everything on the surface, even with the knowledge that the surface fades and can’t be held together forever—take advantage before the expiration date appears in the nearing distance. The surface Rain presents is really all she’s about, and since so many girls look like Rain another part of the appeal is watching her try to figure out why I’ve become so interested in her and not someone else.

Excerpted from Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
Copyright © 2010 by Bret Easton Ellis.

With remakes of 80s films so popular these days I would like to know if there are any producers out there looking to get involved in my project. Leave your contact details in the comments section. I’m looking to cast Scarlett Johansson, Megan Fox, Mila Kunis and Rachel Bilson as the core group of school girls who get up to all kinds of comic musical misadventure. Lindsay Lohan is likely to be cast as the unpopular drug addict bitch character who makes life hell for our horny young heroes but ultimately learns a valuable lesson that drugs, partying and revenge do not mix. Don’t worry, Lindsay will not sing because notable guest appearances will include Taylor Swift and Katy Perry who play singing lesbian lovers. The script is shaping up nicely as Mean Girls meets Ferris Bueller meets High School Musical meets Porky’s meets Debbie Does Dallas. I can also exclusively reveal that Bret Easton Ellis is the co-scriptwriter. There is a chance it may be R-Rated. Any takers?

Miles Fisher’s original take on the Talking Heads classic, This Must Be The Place is also an homage to another cult classic American Psycho written by Bret Easton Ellis. Very rarely in life to the stars align to create a mash up of your all time favourite song and one of my favourite books.
Fisher is a talented young actor, musician, and digital media entrepreneur who has made supporting cast appearances in some hit TV shows like Mad Men and Gossip Girl and is currently working on a full length album to follow up his Electro Pop EP. Click his website link under the videos to check out his showreel, music and full bio. I think his impression of Christian Bale’s brilliant film performance as Patrick Bateman is uncanny and considering the quality of this cover version I would not be surprised if Fisher has a successful film and music career ahead of him.