A Fine Romance
A Fine Romance
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In the follow-up to Knock Wood—her bestselling “engaging, intelligent, and wittily self-deprecating autobiography” (The New York Times)—Candice Bergen shares the big events: her marriage to a famous French director, the birth of her daughter, Murphy Brown, widowhood, falling in love again, and watching her daughter blossom.
A Fine Romance begins with Bergen’s charming first husband, French director Louis Malle, whose huge appetite for life broadened her horizons and whose occasional darkness never diminished their love for each other. But her real romance begins when she discovers overpowering love for her daughter after years of ambivalence about motherhood. As Chloe grows up, Bergen finds her comic genius in the biggest TV role of the 80s, Murphy Brown, and makes unwanted headlines when Dan Quayle pulls her into the 1992 presidential campaign.
Fifteen years into their marriage, Malle is diagnosed with cancer, and Candice is unflinching in describing her and Chloe’s despair over his death. But after years of widowhood, she feels the sweet shock of finding a different kind of soulmate. Candice takes us through the first years of her new marriage and shares the bittersweetness of watching Chloe leave home and flourish—and the comedy of a losing battle against those damn wrinkles and extra pounds.
A natural writer, Candice is hilarious, brutally honest, down-to-earth, and wise. She may be a beautiful Hollywood actress with a charmed life, but Candice is someone who can talk frankly about extraordinary events. Readers who pull up a chair will feel like they’ve just made a best friend.
like cancerous tumors on the tree roots and smelled like a basement. The French called them “black gold,” and when the men spaded them up Louis would be buoyant. He’d take them home and soak them to make his specialty, oeufs aux truffes. He’d carefully put whole eggs into a bowl, add the fist of truffle, and cover it with a dish towel so that the truffle perfume permeated the eggshells. Then he’d crack the eggs into another bowl, stir in some of the fragrant liquid, slice the truffle very finely
chewing gum frantically, listening for the aural style of the film. He could tell if the take worked because of how it sounded. Obviously, camera work was important, but he trusted his sound man, Jean-Claude Laureux, implicitly. Louis’s filmmaking never showed; he was very subtle. While he always dreamed of making a film that was a commercial success, he never wanted to compromise his principles as a filmmaker to do it. (He did that on Crackers and the critics attacked him.) He knew that his
color changes: first pink, then blue, yellow, salmon, mint, goldenrod, buff. If you got to goldenrod, you knew the show was in trouble. Dinner was served in the empty sound stage across the street on the Warner lot. All the crew, cast, extras, writers, hair and makeup people, and wardrobe staff would serve themselves from long tables filled with food. We’d eat fast because we had to get back into makeup for touch-ups, then get into our first wardrobe changes before the cast did a speed drill in
hostility emanating from the Emmy audience every time I won after that first year. Her again? But the real reason was the damage it did to my relationships on the set. The Monday after my fifth Emmy, everyone was very reserved. The cast was distant and polite. Normally, our rapport was fantastic—bawdy, raunchy, affectionate. For about a week, shields went up. It was an ensemble cast, we worked together and we worked hard, yet I was the one getting the recognition. In some fairness to myself, I
India. In Madras, Louis and I stayed at a little hotel on the sea. It was so hot that even the ocean was almost too warm to swim in. We’d have chai in the morning, a spicy hot milky tea, which was delicious, but you’d pour with sweat after. We ate spicy mughal pancakes for breakfast, spicy curry for dinner. We were always sweating and stoned on the spices, moving through the day with a gentle buzz. One night, we had dinner in a tiny, dark place that was so broiling hot it was as if we were