This is from an Amazon.com review of “You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again” by Hollywood producer Julia Phillips (bolding mine):
In her Oscar acceptance speech for Best Picture, Julia Phillips described herself as a “nice Jewish girl from Great Neck.” Well, she got 2/3 of it right. But nice? No way.
This book is one of the greatest acts of literary self-immolation ever published. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Phillips at first, suffering as she does from a toxic mother, a workaholic father, insomnia and a Talmudic intellect.
But you get over that feeling in a hurry, as Phillips bullies, maneuvers, sleeps and stomps her way to the top, winning an Oscar for The Sting at the unheard-of age of 29. Her motto: overcompensate; overachieve. If you can’t be best, be first.
As she notes, no young person is ever ready for massive success, and her career crashed just as quickly. After being more or less fired from Close Encounters by Steven Speilberg, her life became a broken record of drug abuse, failed relationships, financial problems and closed doors gleefully slammed by those she used and abused on the way up. Through it all she makes it all seem like a big game, but the human wreckage strewn across the landscape will give the reader pause.
I think her story is an exeption. I sadly believe there are many more successful jerks in the world than those who are jerks because they became successful, if that’s clear.
Having said that, Jeremy Piven’s character as mega-jerk / agent Ari on HBO’s “Entourage” is by far the best character on this great show, since he insults everyone except his clients. Must be that selectivism The Controvert is talking about.