Monday, October 1, 2012
THE STORY BEHIND ELIJAH WOOD AND MY BOOK "MAN MADE"
Long before Fangirl, there was Man Made.
Back in 2001, I wrote Man Made: A Memoir of My Body. It was a very personal account of what it was like for me to suffer from a pituitary brain tumor that had emasculated the heck out of me -- only to have a surgery at age 27 that suddenly made me the incredibly macho, manly-man I am today (sarcasm, cough-cough).
While promoting Man Made, I appeared on "Oprah." NBC's "Dateline" even did a 15-minute piece on me. Critics were kind to this here first-time author. In the book, I told an honest, unflinching story of broken hearts, shattered dreams, skull-crunching headaches and, ultimately, triumph over an enemy within.
Leave it to Hollywood to somehow turn this dramatic tale into a romantic comedy!
But that is exactly what Hollywood hath done. The film adaptation is titled "Late Bloomer."
I won't bore you with my stories of the dreaded "development hell" the project has suffered through for nearly ten years. Instead, I will fast forward to just a couple months ago.
That's when I got a call from Late Bloomer's producer Jesse Israel, whose interest in bringing my book to the big screen goes back to when he worked as a producer on my "Dateline" profile. He told me that he and his partners wanted to start shooting next January and that the incredibly talented Elijah Wood of the FX series "Wilfred" and of course "Lord of the Rings" was interested in playing the character based on me. Sounded pretty awesome.
So I met up with Elijah and Late Bloomer director Randall Einhorn at a little restaurant in Venice Beach. Elijah struck me as a sensitive, creative soul with a genuine curiosity in my life story. He told me he wanted to meet me so that he could better understand my experience. He asked a lot of questions and I answered them all. I even remembered some stories that were left out of the book. Stories about being infused with testosterone and acting like a total moron. Yes, I briefly was Lord of the Flings.
A lot of my stories Elijah's questions brought out in me that night made our director decide they needed to be written into the script. It was all very therapeutic, productive, and fun.
Yet I have to admit it is a completely strange, coincidental timing that news about the first book I ever wrote is coming out literally on the eve of the release of my new book Fangirl. But if my Man Made illness taught me anything it is that we don't always get to control when or what happens to us, but we can choose how we react. And my reaction is to thank everyone who has made me the man I am today.
at 1:17 PM