PERFORMING ARTS

Because He’s Jeff Goldblum: The Movies, Memes, and Meaning of Hollywood’s Most Enigmatic Actor

Plume. Nov. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781524746032. $26. FILM
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Washington Post staff writer Andrews expands on the premise of his profile that claimed that Jeff Goldblum is a universally beloved public figure because he’s Jeff Goldblum. This sounds like circular reasoning, but the author illustrates that while Goldblum’s persona isn’t disingenuous, it is curated by the actor. In fact it’s driven by an authenticity Goldblum strives for by selecting roles that interest him; he’s jumped from blockbusters to indies, from television series to TV cameos, and even into local theater. Actively disdaining “careerism,” Goldblum has also been a commercial spokesperson, released jazz albums, and served sausages from a food truck. Currently Goldblum is possibly seen more in memes than in movies—something the actor has embraced, gathering likes on Instagram, where he displays his eclectic fashion taste aided by his personal stylist and Prada budget. While never gaining access to Goldblum (a fact repeatedly mentioned), Andrews did interview those close to him, who paint a picture of a quirky guy who is genuinely interested in people. Andrews’s own enthusiasm, however, can be distracting. In addition to overemphasizing the word Goldblumy and reveling in his own puns, he breaks to ask readers to send him haiku about Goldblum.
VERDICT Goldblum fans will appreciate this glowing portrait that also analyzes the actor’s appeal.

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