Because He’s Jeff Goldblum: The Movies, Memes, and Meaning of Hollywood’s Most Enigmatic Actor

Travis M. Andrews. Plume, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4603-2
Washington Post writer Andrews debuts with a gushing biography and cultural consideration of Jeff Goldblum, an actor he calls “unknowable, strange, and enigmatic, but in the very best way.” Andrews touches on Goldblum’s youth in West Homestead, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and ’60s (his father was strict and used corporal punishment; his mother was a hippie who vacuumed in the nude) and his move to New York City at 17 to pursue acting. He analyzes Goldblum’s best-known roles (The Fly, Jurassic Park); remarks on the actor’s passion for jazz; and delights in his sartorial choices, whether it’s a floral shirt or zebra print pants. Andrew’s chatty approach features campy pen and ink illustrations by Leigh Cox of Goldblum playing piano and literally larger-than-life posing with his shirt unbuttoned; brims with extravagant claims (Goldblum “appears to be aging in reverse, like some sort of Benjamin Button”); and even includes a fake interview between Andrews and his elusive subject. Andrews doesn’t ever quite pinpoint why Goldblum is a perennial cult favorite, though he never misses a chance to remind the reader he’s wonderful. Those similarly smitten with Goldblum will surely appreciate this lark, but readers looking for a traditional biography or consideration of the actor can safely take a pass. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Co. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/20/2020
Release date: 11/10/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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