I Blame Dennis Hopper, the Book

In 1969 Illeana Douglas’ parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper’s words, “That’s what it’s all about man” to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, “Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it.”

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman’s experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.









Eavesdrop with film-star and ultimate-movie-fan Illeana Douglas as she interviews Hollywood’s most prominent players about film-making, acting and what really happens behind the camera of your favorite flick. Learn all about the glitz, the glamour, the sweat, passion, humor and the escape that movies offer us all.

“Illeana Douglas is far beyond just an actress, she’s a student in all things cinema.”

– Adam Carolla

“Illeana Douglas has always been known as the thinking man’s sex symbol.”

– James Woods

With her unique perspective as Hollywood insider –Standing ten feet from Peter Sellers and her grandfather (Two-time Academy Award winner) Melvyn Douglas, filming scenes for Being There – or her presence on set of Goodfellas everyday of the shoot, to working with directors like Martin Scorsese, Allison Anders, or Gus Van Sant – Illeana engages fellow stars as only she can, and they reveal the answers we’re all dying to know.

Illeana’s infectious take as part film historian, part film evangelist, will draw you in. Whether she and her guests are discussing serious critiques of film as art, to the juiciness of exposing a star’s guilty­ pleasure movie, these in-depth conversations are provocative, funny and incredibly insightful.

“Illeana Douglas takes you through her years in Hollywood in the same way she experienced them – by happy, hilarious accident. The revelations are cringe-inducing, gut-busting and terrifying, usually all at once.”

– Patton Oswalt

“Your life is a movie – with a beginning, middle and end, and a story only you can tell.”

–Illeana Douglas

Whether you live life in or out of the movies, the I Blame Dennis Hopper Podcast features the most honest, revealing and entertaining long-form conversations with Hollywood’s best and brightest, about the galvanizing power of the big screen.

It’s a must for every film fan.

Illeana Douglas has starred in films including Goodfellas, Cape Fear, To Die For, Picture Perfect, and Ghostworld, as well as TV shows from Six Feet Under to Welcome to Sweden. The web series she created and starred in, Easy to Assemble, has been watched by millions and is regarded by all as the grandfather of all web series. She’s written a book, I Blame Dennis Hopper, part memoir, part love letter to the movies. As part of the Turner Classic Movies family, she hosts Second Looks and Trailblazing Women, and conducts film introductions and memorable interviews with some of Hollywood’s greatest. She’s probably watching a movie right now.

As a lifelong film scholar, Illeana recommends you read and watch the following.

1. All About Eve
2. Sunset Boulevard
3. Sullivan’s Travel’s
4. Limelight
5. Being There
6. Ninotchka
7. Network
8. The Heartbreak Kid (Original)
9. Defending Your Life
10. King of Comedy

1. Il Sorpasso by Dino Risi
2. Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman
3. Amaracord by Fellini
4. My Life as a Dog by Lasse Hallstrom
5. Love and Anarchy by Lina Wertmuller
6. The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino
7. An Education by Lone Scherfig
8. Calvary by John Michael McDonagh
9. Umbrellas of Cherbourg by Jacques Demy
10. The Gleaners by Agnes Varda

1. Conversations with Wilder, by Cameron Crowe
2. Life Itself, by Roger Ebert
3. A Womans View, by Jeanine Basinger
4. Who the Devil Made it, by Peter Bogdanovitch
5. My Life So Far, by Jane Fonda
6. Directing the Film, by Eric Sherman
7. Marlene Dietrich, by Maria Riva
8. Rewrites, by Neil Simon
9. The Kid Stays in the Picture, by Robert Evans
10. Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now, by Eleanor Coppola

Illeana Douglas — actress, director, screenwriter, and producer.

Award winning actress Illeana Douglas is a hit with critics and moviegoers alike. Current films include She’s Funny That Way (2015), directed by Peter Bogdanovitch, Pearly Gates (2015), All Stars (2014), Sisters (2014), with Barbara Hershey, and Max Rose (2013), with Jerry Lewis. It’s Dark Here (2013), Chez Upshaw with Kevin Pollak (2012), for which Douglas won the LA IFS Best Actress Award, The Green (2012), for which Douglas won best supporting actress for her role at the San Diego Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Illeana Douglas first came to prominence as Matt Dillon’s suspicious sister in Gus Van Sant’s To Die For (1995), for which she was a New York Film Critics award nominee. She has had memorable performances in Goodfellas (1991), Cape Fear (1993), Alive (1993), Search and Destroy (1995), Grief (1995), Grace of My Heart (1996), Picture Perfect (1997), Message in a Bottle (1999), Happy, Texas (1999), Stir of Echoes (1999), The Next Best Thing (2000), Ghost World (2001), Dummy (2003), Factory Girl (2006), Pittsburgh (2006), Some television movies include Rough Riders (1998), Bella Mafia (1999), Lansky (2000), Point of Origin (2001), and Weapons of Mass Distraction (1998).

Illeana plays Nancy alongside Greg Poehler, Patrick Duffy and Lena Olin on NBC’s Welcome to Sweden (2014-2015), a Swedish/American comedy shot in Sweden and produced by Amy Poehler. She has a recurring role on Chasing Life for the Disney Channel. She recently costarred with George Lopez in his untitled pilot Lopez for TV Land. She had a recurring role on Entourage, and Six Feet Under, which earned her an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Angela. She also starred as Wendy Ward in the critically acclaimed series Action (1999-2000). Additionally, she’s been featured in recurring and guest-star roles on Maron, Grey’s Anatomy, Drop Dead Diva, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order, Ugly Betty, The Drew Carey Show, Frazier, Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, Shark, and many more.

Illeana’s pioneering branded web series for IKEA was Easy To Assemble. has been downloaded over 40 million times and has been called, “The most successful branded show of all time” by Ad-Week. Easy to Assemble features a cornucopia of stars including Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Pollak, Jane Lynch, Cheri Oteri, Patricia Heaton, Tim Meadows, Kate Micucci, Tom Arnold, Ed Begley, Fred Willard, Roger Bart, Justine Bateman and spawned a spin-off Sparhusen which starred Keanu Reeves. Easy To Assemble has won six Webby Awards (2010-2013) for Best Performance, Best Writing, and Best Branded Series. Sparhusen won a Webby Award for Best Short Comedy. Easy to Assemble won two Streamy Awards for Best Ensemble Cast in a Web Series and Best Product Integration, The 2010 BANFF Outstanding Online Performance Award, the 2010 NAPTE Digital Luminary Award and the Innovator Award at the 2010 Independent Television Festival.

Illeana is a producer and costars in the web-series The Skinny (2015), for Jill Sollaway’s online network Wifey.TV,

Illeana began her career as a stand up comedian and sketch performer at Stand Up New York and The Manhattan Punchline. While working for a New York film publicist, Douglas was asked to dub screams and provide additional dialogue for Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). This led to a long association with Scorsese, acting in New York Stories (1989), Goodfellas (1990), and Cape Fear (1991), and developing and co-producing for Cappa Productions Search and Destroy (1995), and Grace of My Heart (1996). While working for Martin Scorsese’s company Cappa she developed Bedlam, and The Lost Army. With his encouragement she also began writing and directing. Her first effort, The Perfect Woman (1993), won Best Short at Aspen Shorts Fest, was featured as the closing night selection at The New York Film Festival, and was a nominee for a Cable Ace Award. It was later sold to Miramax. Everybody Just Stay Calm (1994), was a documentary made for the newly formed Independent Film Channel representing the first programming on the network. Everybody Just Stay Calm was about the comedic trials of independent filmmaking and featured interviews with Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, David O. Russel, Kevin Smith, and many others. Boy Crazy, Girl Crazier (1996) and the television pilot Confessions of a Movie Lover was also made for Bravo and IFC. She wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short films Devil Talk, Supermarket, and Illeanarama, which have played, in numerous festivals and on the Sundance Channel. Supermarket was nominated for a regional Emmy and later developed into Illeanarama (2004-2005), for the Oxygen Network. She was executive producer on the film Life Without Dick (2002), starring Sarah Jessica Parker. She also developed and produced and hosted Celebrity Garage Sale (2009), with Tom Arnold for A&E. She wrote and produced and starred in the branded short Soul mates (2011), for Lifetime Online. She Co-produced in the documentary Kingdom Come (2013), and is a producer on the film Chez Upshaw (2012). She developed and hosted a pilot for Turner Classic Movies called Second Looks (2014), based on their Friday Night Spotlight series on TCM. She is an on camera host, writer and interviewer for Turner Classic Movies having interviewed luminaries such as Jerry Lewis, Richard Dreyfuss, Agnes Varda, Gena Rowlands, Eva Marie Saint. Her first book which is a love letter to the movies is called I Blame Dennis Hopper: Stories of a life inside and outside the movies. Published by Flatiron books, it is available at Amazon.

Illeana created and stars in The Living Room Show, an ongoing live variety show featuring comedy, music, and magic, in a complete stranger’s living room.

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