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A Smart, Funny And Well Written Take Down Of Modern Showbiz ELIZABETH DAYCult Heroine Zawe Ashton Brings Us A Unique Look At Life, Work And The Absurdities Of Contemporary LifeZawe Ashton Has Been Acting Since She Was Six She Has Played Many Different Roles, From Cute Little Girl To Assassin With Attitude , Oscar Wilde S Salome To St Trinian S Schoolgirl By Way Of Fresh Meat S VodTo Stay Sane, An Actress Must Tread A High Wire Between Life And Art, Keep Sight Of Where A Character Ends And The Real Person Begins So She Doesn T Lose Herself CompletelyIn Character Breakdown, Zawe Scrolls Through A Version Of Her Life Or Is It A Version Of Her Art Or Something In Between In It, She Encounters Glamour, Horror, Absurdity And Questions Like Is A Life Spent On Performance Than Reality Any Life At All


10 thoughts on “Character Breakdown

  1. says:

    Character Breakdown usually refers to a brief description of a character in a film or play script In Zawe Ashton s memoir fiction hybrid it does allude to that meaning but could also be understood differently The actress, the I, the protagonist, she is heading to a breakdown.Character Breakdown switches between prose and scenes which are written like a script, tells the story of an actress Zawe who landed her first roles as a child Through the recollection of different roles or the events around different roles , we see the protagonist growing up This book is a wonderful meditation on the realities of the film tv business, showcasing all the different ways BWoC are kept outside from beauty norms to sexual harassment, from limited roles to being deemed difficult solely by existing but also asks bigger questions about the roles we all perform in our daily life and how to not lose yourself.Zawe Ashton most recently was in the series Wanderlust and the movie Velvet Buzzsaw, but she has been a writer most notably of plays for a long time too This book is not a straight forward memoir, it is not a gossipy tell all, instead, it is an intelligent and often funny depiction of the lived realities of an actress I might never see red carpets in the same way I flew through the book and really enjoyed it There were some minor parts I wish were written slightly differently but nothing which actually limited my enjoyment.I received a review copy from the publisher.


  2. says:

    The actress and playwright Zawe Ashton recounts scenes from her own life in this book which treads the line between fiction and memoir Told in two, alternating styles, it cuts from descriptions of the roles she s played from an early age the character breakdown is a brief description of the character and what they are looking for in an actor , and scenes from her later life, which are produced in a script screenplay format These scenes see her wrestling with her life as an actress, and trying to make it in Hollywood Funny, arch and at times heartbreaking, we follow Zawe as she deals with the inherent sexism of the acting world, and its thinly veiled racism We hear about the disappointment of discovering that Wash N Go doesn t work on her hair, the thrill of finding herself with the cool, bullying kids at school in the wake of her first TV appearance, coping with the death of her aunt whilst still doing a full day s acting, entering the bizarre fashion game of the red carpet, and It s a fresh and different take on the role of the actor in the modern world, told in a bold and original way.


  3. says:

    Probably of a 2 star in terms of enjoyment From the first chapter, which I had a hard time reading, I knew it wasn t for me I love Zawe Ashton, from Fresh Meat to her episode in Misfits, Not Safe for Work and her stellar performance in Betrayal I thought this would be a funnish, light read about her experiences in all those But it s written in one tone and reads as self pity, which had me questioning is someone forcing her to act It s painful for her from age 6 all the way through to end where she tells the producer she isn t acting any The industry is sexist, racist and treats people like things and she has every right to not like it I just didn t want to read a book about much she didn t want to do the thing that I admire her for.


  4. says:

    Character Breakdown is usually a brief description of a character in a film or play script In this memoir fiction hybrid the brilliant actress and playwright Zawe Ashton switches from prose to scenes, which are written like a script, and tells the story of her career as an actress She begins from her first role as a child to her stragglers to make it in Hollywood Told in a bold, original way, she recounts events, some of them very intimate which are sometimes heartbreaking and tough, sometimes funny and intense It is an intelligent, thought provoking book about how the Hollywood environment works and how to remain truthful to yourself in spite of the difficulties that this kind of career impose Some issues the actress face throughout her life are dealing with a sensitivity and tact you don t expect, revealing that not all that glitters is gold especially in the showbiz.I personally saw her in Betrayal and was pleasantly impressed by her actingso that I decided to purchase her book.


  5. says:

    If you re an actor, a women, a women of colour, a women of colour who acts or just a human being of any sex job this is a must read The book it written in an usual form and makes for a compelling, vulnerable, humorous and totally generous read I feel like I ve just peered into Zawe Ashton s soul.


  6. says:

    Memoir or fiction In chapters alternating between prose and script, actress and playwright Zawe Ashton recounts a journey from TV adverts, to kids dramas, to Channel 4 comedies, to stage performances and to Hollywood In doing so she highlights the pressures on young female actresses, the predatory behaviour and sexual harrassment in the industry, and the racism encountered by women of colour This is no gossipy, name dropping memoir, but instead a carefully crafted and beautifully written account of the lived realities of working in TV, film and theatre By blurring the line between fiction and non fiction, Ashton is able to weave a clever, funny, vulnerable heartbreaking and compelling narrative I really enjoyed this and definitely recommend it, even if you don t usually read autobiographies.


  7. says:

    An unusual memoir fiction hybrid, Zawe Ashton s Character Breakdown was compulsive reading Split into short sections, it is revealing while keeping Ashton herself unknowable and separate from the Actress in the script sections Recommended for fans of hers or someone looking for a quick, compelling read that breaks the memoir mold.


  8. says:

    This is honestly one of the best books I ve ever read


  9. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It made me feel guilty about the cult of celebrity and the enormous pressure of female actors The lack of control in the acting profession is disturbing This is an interesting and insightful work.