Managing Expectations opens with young Minnie Driver leaning out of her mother’s car window and shouting, “Help me, I’m abducted!” It is Sunday evening and, after spending the weekend at home, she is sent back to her boarding school in Hampshire. “We live three kilometers from the school. It makes no sense,” she said.
Read with verve and humor by Driver, the book includes a series of essays on pivotal moments in his life. These include when her father kicked her out of Barbados aged 11 as punishment for being rude to his girlfriend. The return trip to London, which she undertook on her own, included a stopover at a posh hotel in Miami where she retaliated by buying half of the gift shop with her father’s credit card.
Moving on to her acting career, Driver is refreshingly candid and decidedly bedazzled by her own stardom, instead highlighting the stupidity and sexism of her industry. She recalls how disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein once complained about her lack of sex appeal, which she deems rich coming from a man “whose shirts were always aggressively encrusted with eggs/tuna/ mayo… and who lived in a cloud of yellowed cigar smoke”.
The audiobook also includes a postscript in which Driver is interviewed by screenwriter and novelist Emma Forrest about the writing process, after which, in tribute to his failed first television appearance at the age of nine, Driver sings the song “They Said It Was”. My Tree,” choking laughs throughout.
Managing Expectations is available from Manila 6h 51min.
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