It’s not myopic to be dreaming of my biopic
The other morning I was thinking about life - because, well, that’s what people do when they’re on the toilet.
As I used my housemate’s slightly dryer towel to wipe my hands, I realised I’d been doing it wrong - life, that is, not hand-drying, which I’ve actually developed quite a knack for.
All this time, I’ve been focused on “the journey”, when the end product is clearly the most important bit. The end product being, of course, a sweet, badass biography. What’s the point of being content if there isn’t a seven-figure book deal at the end of it all?
Last week, I watched the riveting When You’re Strange, the Johnny Depp-narrated Jim Morrison documentary. The extraordinary archival footage showed a pretentious, selfish jerk who liked to flop around mountainsides and recording studios like a giant, custard-filled plastic bag, infuriate his ever-patient band members with his weird absences - and occasionally write songs and poems.
Through the magic of the biopic, however, the life of a jerk can become a tragic cautionary tale, a celebration of the different, an ode to strangeness. Everyone, even the oddest of celebrities, can look cool in hindsight.
When You’re Strange made me realise two things. The first is that I don’t do nearly enough things in slow motion. I honestly can’t remember the last time a bottle of whiskey I dropped took more than fifteen seconds to fall to the ground and shatter while Ave Maria played gently in the background.
The second is that my life is severely lacking in lens flare. I really must make more of an effort to walk in front of cameras pointed at bright lights.
Justin Bieber managed to do enough of both in recent years to warrant a feature-length biopic by the age of 16, despite being made entirely out of melted-down NSYNC albums and Disney DVDs.
With a little bit of effort, all of us can live lives worthy of a quirky biopic that makes every single bad haircut, failed exam and minor car accident romantic and awe-inspiring.
Sadly, by 2035, most celebrity biographies will probably consist of stapled together printouts of a decade’s worth of Facebook screen grabs.
The obvious exception will of course be Oprah, whose memoir Look Under Your Seats: The Woman Who Revolutionised Prize Placement will be a 300-page list of celebrities’ names followed by an acknowledgements page that simply reads: “Oprah’s Soul”.
Charlie Sheen’s biography will also buck trends and will be entirely handwritten in Mountain Dew, Tiger Blood and coloured lube on a collection of soiled serviettes, cocktail menus and half-eaten Pringles.
Especially riveting will be the chapter that describes how, for almost an entire year, he thought he kept seeing himself on The West Wing in old man makeup.
Starting today, I’ll be incorporating more weird things into my life in an effort to make my biopic more interesting.
The last thing I want is for it to attract reviews that say things along the lines of: “Seriously, it’s just 200 pages about the guy eating tuna. I mean, I know it’s full of protein, but straight out of the can? By itself? He doesn’t even eat it with bread.”
The first order of business is creating candid archival footage, which means I’ll probably have to spend at least an hour each day walking through random people’s family videos at the beach.
The second is obviously a creative death. My first instinct is death by tuna binge - because that’s what people do on the toilet.
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