Thursday, April 14, 2016

Me and Audrey #amreading

by Giselle Renarde

Ten years ago, one of my sisters bought me an autobiography of Audrey Hepburn. And there it sat. On my shelf. Collecting dusk.

Until two weeks ago!

I decided it was finally time to dive in and discover all there is to know about Audrey.

But first, let me tell you why this was such a lovely gift that I definitely should have started reading before now.

When I was in high school, I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's obsessively.  Okay, not obsessively.  But I watched it a lot.  I seem to recall "renting" the video from the library quite often, but I guess someone bought me a copy at some point because Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of only 8 tapes in my VHS collection.

(Charade is another. My ex bought me a used copy.  He to talk an independent video rental location into selling it to him because where else would you get a copy of Charade?  It made a great gift because I was in love, in equal parts, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn at that time.)

Anyway, like I was saying: I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's a lot.  I appreciated the kind of cheerful melancholy Audrey Hepburn brought to her role.  I haven't watched the movie in a while, but I remember being enchanted by it.

Neat that this book I'm reading, this book about the life of Audrey Hepburn, is titled Enchantment.

If you've read my Audrey and Lawrence series (or heard mention of it), you might have wondered if I named my "me" character after Hepburn.  Why, yes.  Yes I did.

I identified so strongly with her when I was younger.  Which is to say that I identified with her movie characters.  Or maybe just Holly Golightly.  Because, until I picked up this book, I really knew nothing about Audrey the person, the actor.

Turns out she was notoriously self-effacing.  She always felt like an amateur because she had no formal training in her craft.  Her lack of confidence made her work harder.  In her mind, she had to prove herself.

No wonder I identified with her...


  1. A local theatre runs classic films so Momma and I saw "Charade" last year. Bios can be wonderful, depending on who writes them.

  2. I haven’t read that book, but I’ve read some things about Audrey Hepburn’s life, and was surprised to find that she was sometimes a courier for the Dutch Resistanceduring WWII, often without enough to eat. I’m so glad she was discovered and made those exquisite movies!

  3. Your post reminds me, Giselle, that I don't read biographies as often as I should. Not "should" in the prescriptive sense (like you "should" eat your vegetables, or exercise more) but should because I often really enjoy them, but don't tend to choose them. Thanks!

    A while ago I read a wonderful biography of Lauren Bacall. I'd always adored her movies, but knew little of her life. For instance, I hadn't even know she was married to Bogart. Explained a lot!

  4. I was in a biography reading binge a while back, but got stuck reading Tina Fey's, which just wasn't as interesting as I'd wanted it to be. But I do love them. And as for Audrey--she's quite the icon :)

  5. Audrey! I loved "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Charade" when I first saw them. And I absolutely loved her as Eliza Doolittle opposite Rex Harrison in the lavish Hollywood movie "My Fair Lady" (based on the more satirical 1905 play by George Bernard Shaw, "Pygmalion"). That play has always had meaning for me because I had a red-haired Cockney great-grandmother named Elizabeth that I always thought of as the real Eliza Doolittle. (I don't remember her, but my mother could imitate her accent.) Both the play and the movie are all about markers of social class, especially dialects (especially in England). As a person who could function in several languages, Audrey Hepburn approached Eliza's linguistic transformation with precision.

  6. This is an awesome post, Giselle, and it sounds like a fun book! I am partial to memoirs by female punk rock icons (Carrie Brownstein, I'm looking at you). But I am tempted to look up your Audrey book, too, given this.