The topic of this forthcoming memoir, Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, actually came up when I interviewed Frank Langella a few years back (he was working on it even then), and despite the obvious relish with which he spoke of delving back into his early years, and various relationships, I confess I’m a bit struck by some of the specific bits (affairs with the much older Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, plus saucy, suggestive phone conversations with Bette Davis) and news regarding its imminent arrival.
Not unlike William Hurt, Langella is an intellectual heavyweight who can cut an intimidating figure if he so chooses, quoting Shakespeare and other works to test the depth of your reading list, and comfortable arguing a question to test your mettle. In the twilight of his years, he’s obviously been put in a somewhat
reflective position, starting with the in some respects sublime Starting Out in the Evening, as well as Frost/Nixon, which he played on both stage and screen. Langella only dishes dirt on those who have passed, but a lot of folks were in his estimation “a bore,” it seems, which I think again reflects his interests and basic personality. (He has to be a cat person, I’m guessing.) I also don’t imagine there’s a chapter on Cutthroat Island… though I’m sure that would be kind of awesome too, actually, if there was.