Harry Hamlin Q&A: Drug Mule, 'Mein Kampf' Reviewer, Oversleeper
By Nicki Gostin Posted Oct 5th 2010 01:00PM
Just in time for TV Land's reality show, 'Harry Loves Lisa,' comes Harry Hamlin's hilarious memoir entitled 'Full Frontal Nudity: The Making of an Accidental Actor.' But if you're expecting dish on his brief marriage to Nicolette Sheridan or chapters on 'L.A. Law' and being named People's Sexiest Man Alive in 1987, you're going to be disappointed. The book is about growing up in suburban California in the 1960's and attending Berkeley and Yale. It ends when he snags a part in the play 'Equus' which requires, you guessed it, full frontal nudity. The very busy Hamlin took a moment to chat with PopEater about the impressively written book, his two arrests (and short stint in jail), getting kicked out of school (for a positive review of 'Mein Kampf') and why he passed on the 1960's drug culture.
I'll admit I was really surprised at how well you write.
I'm thrilled that you thought that. It was actually quite easy to write and I really enjoyed the process. I often have fostered the fantasy of being a writer in my life.
You're here to tell everyone you're a convicted drug mule.
(Laughs) Well I guess in some sense. I thought it was a fairly petty offense in the grand scheme of things and I was pretty stupid to undertake it. (Some friends asked Hamlin to deliver drugs to people in Southern California and his suitcase was detained at the airport. He was sent to jail and charged with felony possession).
You write that when you were 3 you peed in your dog's bowl and your mother never trusted you again.
I think it was that for the rest of my life I thought she didn't trust me so I behaved that way. I engendered a lack of trust between us. I'm not sure she would have remembered that event so vividly as I did but it certainly colored my relationship with her for the rest of my life.
Really? An event from when you were 3?
There are things in your life that you've done that you wince at. I still remember that incident and wince at it.
You were 3!
I know but still it was the first thing when I knew I had done something wrong.
I loved that you're pretty sure you were kicked out of a school because you did a book report on 'Mein Kampf.'
I never actually found out the exact reason why but when I try to put the pieces of the puzzle together that's what comes up and that's more than likely the reason.
Did you give it a good review?
I don't remember but I remember reading it. He wrote it while he was in jail and I remember his description of jail. I think at the end of it I may have wrapped it up with what a great man he was. I didn't know any better, I was just a kid and at that time too, in the early 60's the war had ended less than 20 years before and the whole idea of the Holocaust was just beginning. People were still not talking about it that much. It wasn't that known. Hollywood grabbed onto the Holocaust in the 70's and 80's. When I did the book report we all knew Hitler was the bad guy, we'd defeated him but we didn't know how bad.
You were going to study architecture but you missed out on the registration deadline because you took drugs.
Yeah it was some form of hallucinogenics I was given the night before I was supposed to go and register.
So the lesson for the kids is that drugs can be good sometimes.
(Laughs) You're putting words into my mouth!
You had two roommates who were junkies, you were at Berkeley and you didn't get caught up in the drug culture.
No I didn't and possibly the arrest at the beginning of my freshman year was the saving grace. If it hadn't of happened I might have been tempted to get caught up in it. I certainly never had any interest in heroin whatsoever. I saw the effects it had when I saw my roommate turn blue and start writhing around on the floor. I said, 'I don't want any part of this.'
You got a Fulbright to study acting. That's amazing.
I agree with you! It was bizarre that I received it. I was very disappointed when my visa was pulled and I couldn't study in Moscow.
You were cast in Equus. How weird was it stripping down every night?
Use your imagination! It was pretty weird. I tried to explain it in the book. I tried to create the sense of oddity and the out-of-body experience that I had on the first night.
Watch PopEater's Rob Shuter chat with Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna:
Harry Hamlin Snapshots
Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin at the 'Harry Loves Lisa' panel at the MTV Networks Summer TCA Tour held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 6. Check out more pics of Harry out and about >>
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