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Joe Eszterhas: From ‘Hollywood Animal’ to ‘Crossbearer’

EszterhasphotoIC.jpgOne of the most notorious screenwriter/producers of modern movies, Joe Eszterhas, is releasing a memoir this fall in which he reveals how he went from writing tawdry hits like “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls” to finding a relationship with God. Blogger Sharon Waxman reports that she has a conversation with the screenwriter in which he discussed his return to the Catholic Church and how finding religion helped overcome his many addictions..

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This is not the first memoir Eszterhas has written. Back in 2004 he wrote the best-selling, raw, salacious tell-all “Hollywood Animal” in which he described in shameless detail his sexcapades with Hollywood actresses and nasty battles with Hollywood execs.
With “Crossbearer,” it seems the publisher is pedaling a softer image of Eszterhas. The press release for the book on their website states that the book is “powerful, poignant, and sometimes wryly humorous account of a streetwise and cynical man’s newfound faith…”
I certainly hope that is true. I am in no position to cast doubts on someone else’s conversion. At all. But what does have my curiosity piqued is the timeline the new book mentions. It notes his religious awakening as taking place in 2001. But as I mentioned, “Hollywood Animal” was released in 2004. So I just can’t help but wonder how someone who had returned to his Catholic faith then decided to go ahead and peddle a book that threw numerous people under the metaphorical bus.
I also raised an eyebrow when I read Waxman’s interview where she quotes Eszterhas as pointing out that his former partner, director Paul Verhoeven has also turned to religion for inspiration. Apparently, Verhoeven has written a book as well–scheduled for release next year–about the Virgin Mary in which he claims Mary conceived Jesus because she was raped by a soldier. Huh?
I am hoping something got lost in translation in Waxman’s interview, because if Eszterhas is hoping to sell “Crossbearer” to Middle America on that cultural connection, I see a problem.
Such unanswered questions have accomplished their objective: I am sure I will be checking the book out this fall.

  • BRUCE

    I’ve read the book and find it quite interesting. I can relate to his life’s journey. It’s not a conversion as much as it is about “surrendering”……..

  • Germaine Bissell

    I went to hear him at a book reading for his latest work at the Bainbridge Public Library. After reading Hollywood Animal and hearing him speak (and his “lovely” wife Naomi read parts for him) I can only say that it is all just a joke. I wonder if Naomi, who constantly prays, according to Eszterhas, to the Virgin Mary, can still roll the best joint he’s ever had? He is a fraud, pure and simple. I wish his first wife, Gerri, all the luck in the world. I hope that she wiped him out with the alimony settlement. But, then again, she’s probably better off without this creep.

  • Ed S.

    I know Joe personally. We belong to the same church and have become friends over the years fighting cancer together. The conversion is real. The book is real. He writes about my wife, Noreen, who fought cancer for almost 12 years. Joe was wonderful to Noreen (and me). Noreen passed away January 17, 2009. Joe spoke at her funeral. I have seen Joe do so many things for others that he keeps to himself. I love Joe dearly. He will always be my very close friend.

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