Release Date: 01/03/14
Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing
After a long, and deeply philosophical, conversation with Robert LaSardo, I eagerly awaited this book that you are about to read. I was not disappointed. Left deep in thought, I sat in a long contemplative silence. While I always enjoyed Mr. LaSardo as an actor, I discovered I like him even better as who he is, behind the face he shows the public. Often, if you are in the public eye, you develop a persona (ego) and become someone that society, fans and publicists want you to be. You can sometimes lose aspects of yourself. The truly courageous ones overcome this through strength of character and merge the two halves of themselves to be whole. In the end, people will either love you for who you are, imperfections and all, or they will pull back, fading away because you spoiled the 'image' they had of you. It is sad that the creative person loses a part of themselves so that they can be known and make a good living. Yet, it is the love of art, writing and acting - the real, inner person we are is what made us do it in the first place - that can often become extinguished by the machine of ratings, demands of talent agents, advisers or by the shine of fame and glamour. Throughout his career, Robert LaSardo has found his niche in Hollywood, playing the devious criminal. Often evil personified in his roles, he has played the villain we love, on the award-winning series Nip/Tuck and on both CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami. We also see his more recent performances in Ghost Whisperer and his own independent film Never Down, he continues to win the hearts of his audience. In Life Sentence: a true story about love, lunacy and fame, you will encounter the man behind the villain he plays, and come to understand the depth of his heart, his will and desire to accomplish despite the hardships that will make you cry. This book will make you feel the triumph of his success, as you are drawn into his life. ~ From the introduction.
I’ve been a fan of Robert LaSardo since I originally saw him in Nip/Tuck, so when he released his poetry books I was pretty stunned, not because he released them but purely for the fact that I’d stereotyped him based on not only his looks (with his tattoo’s) but on the character he’d portrayed. Those books were emotionally raw, real and quite frankly awesome so much so that I felt that I had to write reviews on them.
It was a sheer pleasure and when Robert wrote in December to wish us Merry Christmas I was not only surprised but it went to show that he was a down to earth in touch with the real world human being, so when I heard about his autobiography coming out, it was something I wanted immediately and couldn’t wait to get my hands upon.
So when it arrived, it was devoured in quite a short time and whilst I could have written the review much earlier, it’s a review that has taken me time to sit back and digest as well as how to phrase as the emotional aspects detailed within the title are open, frankly brutal in places and has gone on to show how the real Hollywood works.
Starting out in Robert’s early life, the reader is given the cold hard facts about him having to deal with a split family with his mother suffering from mental illness, it was difficult to read and whilst many would have bypassed this to concentrate on their story from later on ie their arrival in Hollywood, his openness about it brought tears to my eyes. I felt special being allowed into his life, as his words portrayed a truth that many others wouldn’t have the courage to face let alone talk about.
Yet as the book carried on he continued to talk about his life from child into adult hood alongside his time in the Navy and how upon de mobbing his return to his love of acting from his humble beginnings through to Hollywood, but not the Tinseltown that many think of as glitz and glamour, the downright real world version where money is scarce and home is a motel as you struggle making rent each week. A pretentious town where people you looked up to and met years before have been chewed up and spat out wandering round crazed and almost forgotten.
The book is harrowing, the tales about auditions frightening and to have an account from an actor who most would think lived in a big house (including myself) with a huge bank balance (he doesn’t) really has a less stable life than most “average people” do. Yet throughout it all, despite being stomped and downtrodden so many times its his clear passion for acting that comes through with each of his characters such as Nip/Tuck’s Escobar whose portrayal pushed not only the audience to the max but the character himself.
If you want real peak beneath Hollywood’s skirt, that contains amazing writing and a truth that rings out then you really have to read Robert’s work (poetry included.) He really is an inspirational guy. Thank you Robert.