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Jason Priestley: A Memoir

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The hit Fox show Beverly Hills, 90210 became a cultural touchstone of the 1990s and propelled its young cast to mega-stardom, including Jason Priestley, who played honorable Midwestern transplant Brandon Walsh. Yet despite more than twenty years in and out of the limelight, Priestley has carefully maintained his privacy. In this compelling memoir, the actor, director, and The hit Fox show Beverly Hills, 90210 became a cultural touchstone of the 1990s and propelled its young cast to mega-stardom, including Jason Priestley, who played honorable Midwestern transplant Brandon Walsh. Yet despite more than twenty years in and out of the limelight, Priestley has carefully maintained his privacy. In this compelling memoir, the actor, director, and race-car aficionado invites us into his private world for the first time. With humor, sincerity, and charm, Priestley offers little-known details about his life and stories of his nine years in America’s most famous zip code. He talks candidly about celebrity, marriage, fatherhood, and his passion for car racing. He does not shy away from the devastating lows—his brief jail sentence for drunk driving and the crash at the Kentucky Speedway that nearly took his life. Priestley shares his innermost thoughts about life as a ’90s icon, and goes beyond the Brandon Walsh squeaky-clean image, revealing the tumultuous events that have shaped him, and where he finds his greatest happiness today


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The hit Fox show Beverly Hills, 90210 became a cultural touchstone of the 1990s and propelled its young cast to mega-stardom, including Jason Priestley, who played honorable Midwestern transplant Brandon Walsh. Yet despite more than twenty years in and out of the limelight, Priestley has carefully maintained his privacy. In this compelling memoir, the actor, director, and The hit Fox show Beverly Hills, 90210 became a cultural touchstone of the 1990s and propelled its young cast to mega-stardom, including Jason Priestley, who played honorable Midwestern transplant Brandon Walsh. Yet despite more than twenty years in and out of the limelight, Priestley has carefully maintained his privacy. In this compelling memoir, the actor, director, and race-car aficionado invites us into his private world for the first time. With humor, sincerity, and charm, Priestley offers little-known details about his life and stories of his nine years in America’s most famous zip code. He talks candidly about celebrity, marriage, fatherhood, and his passion for car racing. He does not shy away from the devastating lows—his brief jail sentence for drunk driving and the crash at the Kentucky Speedway that nearly took his life. Priestley shares his innermost thoughts about life as a ’90s icon, and goes beyond the Brandon Walsh squeaky-clean image, revealing the tumultuous events that have shaped him, and where he finds his greatest happiness today

30 review for Jason Priestley: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    John Amory

    Whenever someone asks me, "When did you first know you were gay?" my answer is, "The first time I saw Jason Priestley on 90210." I was really young when I first started watching the show around 1993, and I didn't really understand a lot of the plotlines until I rewatched the early season in reruns in the early 2000s, but I was definitely enamored with Jason Priestley. He was my first celebrity crush, before I even knew what that was or meant. I went to charity hockey games he played in. I once t Whenever someone asks me, "When did you first know you were gay?" my answer is, "The first time I saw Jason Priestley on 90210." I was really young when I first started watching the show around 1993, and I didn't really understand a lot of the plotlines until I rewatched the early season in reruns in the early 2000s, but I was definitely enamored with Jason Priestley. He was my first celebrity crush, before I even knew what that was or meant. I went to charity hockey games he played in. I once told my parents I was too sick to go to school because I checked TV Guide and a film he was in that I'd never seen before, Calendar Girl, was on that day. I remember crying in 2002 when it was falsely reported that he'd died in a racing accident. I loved, and still love, Jason Priestley. So this was going to be a five-star read for me regardless of the book's content. It helps that this is a really quick, breezy, conversational memoir filled with a bunch of fun stories. All the stuff you want to know is in here. Yes, he talks about why Shannen Doherty was fired. Yes, he tells you exactly how he feels about Tori selling his wedding invitation at a yard sale for $5. Yes, he tells stories about living with Brad Pitt before either of them were famous. But there's a lot of other stuff in here too about a lot of his lesser known projects (the aforementioned Calendar Girl, of which I'm one of those fans he talks about tweeting him quotes from the movie; Tru Calling; Coldblooded; Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye; and others), and there's a lot about his personal relationships and friendships. Mostly what I get is that Jason seems like a really nice guy. Just about every one of his co-stars turns into a friend, and he rarely has anything mean to say... though the story of his one and only time meeting Dean McDermott is pretty great. Reading this is kind of like sitting down to drinks with an old friend. His tone is comfortable and familiar, and he meanders quite a bit throughout, which can make the stories seems disjointed, but I think it adds to the charm. It's just like if you were telling a story to a friend, and when you came to a part that reminded you of something else, you'd go off on a tangent and then either come back to where you started or just forget where you were going with it altogether. That happens a few times, but for the most part, the stories (divided into chapters with the story's location and zip code as the header, such a fun touch) are short enough that they're laser-focused. Speaking of which, there's no moral or lesson to this memoir. Jason doesn't end with some epiphany, or dole out a ton of advice to aspiring actors. This is a book for his fans to want to know what it was like to be Brandon Walsh and where you go from there. There's some gossip, some partying, some personal growth. But this memoir mostly exists for Jason Priestley to say, "This is who I was and who I am. Thanks for getting me here and sticking with me."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mediaman

    This giant ego of an actor tells very little in a soulless book that is written like a Wikipedia or imdb page. It goes through the essential career elements without revealing much that we don't already know. Essentially Priestly constantly reminds us of the "iconic" show he was on, its cultural impact, how he was made so famous that he mingled with royalty, and that reports of his bad behavior are wrong. But he does it all without telling anything about himself, sharing a few interesting stories This giant ego of an actor tells very little in a soulless book that is written like a Wikipedia or imdb page. It goes through the essential career elements without revealing much that we don't already know. Essentially Priestly constantly reminds us of the "iconic" show he was on, its cultural impact, how he was made so famous that he mingled with royalty, and that reports of his bad behavior are wrong. But he does it all without telling anything about himself, sharing a few interesting stories about others, and slamming some of his co-workers. A "memoir" is supposed to contain personal indiscreet memories, yet Priestly doesn't share any about himself. No details on the tabloid reports regarding who he slept with, how he lost his temper, the drug problems, etc. Instead this is the whitewashed version of his life where he has a big wall up so you don't see much of him and instead he deflects every story to someone else. He overpraises Aaron Spelling, name drops people he met on the way up like Brad Pitt, and makes sure to burn some bridges with some of his former 90210 castmates by talking about their faults instead of his own. The worst part of the book is that he makes more of 90210's success than there really was--it wasn't a gigantic ratings powerhouse, it dropped in the ratings when Shannon left (though he says the opposite), he claims the series had some kind of cultural impact but never really says what that impact was (Saved By the Bell came before 90210 and had more of an impact on televised views of high school), and he personally claims a type of rock star following that (even if true, which he doesn't give much evidence of) was very limited in its time and scope. This guy wasn't that big of a deal, was a wild rebel who others have told nasty stories about, and wants to hide behind his "privacy" while selling books about his life. After reading the book I don't feel I know him any better than before I started. So I'm not buying his claims and you shouldn't either.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Straw

    I read these books so Julie doesn't have to...This one was heinous. Jason is a nice guy and it disappoints. Much like the Rob Lowe one, there is no gossip nor shit talking, which is the whole reason I am reading this. The writing was beyond awful, and I spent my time correcting errors in the text. The best part of this experience was the fact that one of the people who read it before me (library) wrote little notes in areas they disagreed with. Oscar Meyer does not make meat; rather, they make I read these books so Julie doesn't have to...This one was heinous. Jason is a nice guy and it disappoints. Much like the Rob Lowe one, there is no gossip nor shit talking, which is the whole reason I am reading this. The writing was beyond awful, and I spent my time correcting errors in the text. The best part of this experience was the fact that one of the people who read it before me (library) wrote little notes in areas they disagreed with. Oscar Meyer does not make meat; rather, they make processed meats! Live and learn. Also, the pensive picture on the jacket cover was priceless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Penny McGill

    Can a book be a necessary evil? Reading a book, knowing it's likely to be terrible, but knowing that you really have to read it anyway... is it a necessary evil? I felt that way about this book. I had to read it - he played Brandon Walsh for Lord's sake (said Nanny to Eloise) - so there was no way I could skip it. Was it 3 hrs wasted? I don't think so. Beverly Hills 90210 is a part of my own tv-watching history and I occasionally mention the show to friends of a certain age.. my husband makes a Can a book be a necessary evil? Reading a book, knowing it's likely to be terrible, but knowing that you really have to read it anyway... is it a necessary evil? I felt that way about this book. I had to read it - he played Brandon Walsh for Lord's sake (said Nanny to Eloise) - so there was no way I could skip it. Was it 3 hrs wasted? I don't think so. Beverly Hills 90210 is a part of my own tv-watching history and I occasionally mention the show to friends of a certain age.. my husband makes a Bev Hills joke every once in a while, sometimes referring to the show as "Bev Hills" and there is just no disputing that it made zip codes and postal codes a bit funny. The book isn't well written. He dishes very little dirt and the only co-star he has a smidgen of criticism for is Tori Spelling. I think there might have been a chance to air some dirty laundry here and make it a spicier read but he didn't. Still, he lived in interesting times and had friendships with lots of different people. I found the references to working in the film and television industry to be of enough interest that the book wasn't without any merit but he referred to his relationships with 'crew' in a bit of a self-serving way and was a bit aw, shucks about most of his own successes. So. Not a great book. Not a book that I'll likely suggest to anyone but, should a 90210 fan come into the library in the next decade (and they are out there - I watched the show so someone else had to have watched it also) I will be ready with something interesting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ally Martin

    This was a likable book. I debated between a 3 and 4 rating, but I ultimately went with 4 because it was a quick read and held my interest. I thought there could have been more 90210 stories just because that is probably why most people are even interested in picking up the book -- that is why I was interested in reading it. 90210 was a blessing and a curse to Priestley, and he described that well, in that he was glad to have the steady work and a hit show, but he also didn't want to be forever This was a likable book. I debated between a 3 and 4 rating, but I ultimately went with 4 because it was a quick read and held my interest. I thought there could have been more 90210 stories just because that is probably why most people are even interested in picking up the book -- that is why I was interested in reading it. 90210 was a blessing and a curse to Priestley, and he described that well, in that he was glad to have the steady work and a hit show, but he also didn't want to be forever known as moral compass Brandon Walsh. However, his descriptions of 90210 were almost like you were reading someone's description of working in the accounting department. There's a tiny bit of office gossip, but it really is just about putting in the time, working hard, and not fully enjoying it while you're there. He mentions at one point in the book that he told 90210 stories to some people in a halfway house, and I thought, well, if you told them, why not share a them with us? At the very least don't tease us that there are some funny 90210 stories!

  6. 4 out of 5

    El

    I mean, c'mon. No one knows 90210 like I do. I mean, c'mon. No one knows 90210 like I do.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    this is a truly terrible book. Jason might be the last of the nice guys or whatever, but his approach to storytelling is to set up a story and then only tell you half of it. Unless he's literally telling you everything, in which case - dude - they're not stories worth telling. Amongst my favourite is when he is hot for one of the Corrs. Apparently they had a connection following from the Corrs appearance at the Peach Pit After Dark. And he sees her at a bar in Ireland a few years later. And she this is a truly terrible book. Jason might be the last of the nice guys or whatever, but his approach to storytelling is to set up a story and then only tell you half of it. Unless he's literally telling you everything, in which case - dude - they're not stories worth telling. Amongst my favourite is when he is hot for one of the Corrs. Apparently they had a connection following from the Corrs appearance at the Peach Pit After Dark. And he sees her at a bar in Ireland a few years later. And she kind of blanks him. THAT'S THE ENTIRE STORY. Obviously I'll be recommending this to everyone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    June

    Brandon is dreamy...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shant

    It wasn't as good as memoirs by comedians but it was still informative. I learned a bit for 'What do actors do between projects?' or questions about how actors realize it's time to go on to the next phase (I mean from twentysomething to thirtysomething, not leaving the industry entirely, but yeah). I kind of thought that there weren't enough stories from the 90210 years- or even his projects like Love and Death on Long Island or Coldblooded, but I also didn't know what to do with all of the Shann It wasn't as good as memoirs by comedians but it was still informative. I learned a bit for 'What do actors do between projects?' or questions about how actors realize it's time to go on to the next phase (I mean from twentysomething to thirtysomething, not leaving the industry entirely, but yeah). I kind of thought that there weren't enough stories from the 90210 years- or even his projects like Love and Death on Long Island or Coldblooded, but I also didn't know what to do with all of the Shannen Doherty stories. I appreciated how for once a memoir namedrops people for her exes instead of just going like 'A famous and successful Chicago real estate guy' but at the same time, it kind of made me sad to see them still be at odds. The Tori stories were shocking, but interesting, at least. Each story was a two or three page anecdote and his writing style works better for his adult years than early on.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brandi D'angelo

    I was a fan of the early years of 90210, so this memoir brought back some fun memories. The first half of the book was the most interesting to me, as it talked all about Jason's early career with 90210. I thought he was very tactful in not trashing anyone or revealing anything too personal about his fellow castmates. (I am pretty sure there was a lot of stuff he could've exposed.) In the second half, he talks about the myriad of other TV and film parts he played. Overall, an enjoyable and quick I was a fan of the early years of 90210, so this memoir brought back some fun memories. The first half of the book was the most interesting to me, as it talked all about Jason's early career with 90210. I thought he was very tactful in not trashing anyone or revealing anything too personal about his fellow castmates. (I am pretty sure there was a lot of stuff he could've exposed.) In the second half, he talks about the myriad of other TV and film parts he played. Overall, an enjoyable and quick read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I was pleasantly surprised by this. It was a quick read, but he comes across as a pretty nice guy with a lot of interesting stories. He talks in length about his accident and how it changed him. I actually liked that it was not too 90210 heavy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leonel

    It was my friend Dee who turned me on to the television show Beverly Hills 90210 years ago, and I became hooked. I mean pretty rich people falling in love and sleeping around., it doesn't get better.Jason Priestley played Brandon Walsh on that show, and he just released a memoir. I figured, it would be interesting to get a glimpse of his experience while he was working on that show. Well, we do get a glimpse of that, but he writes in such a hurried way that we really do not get to learn much. An It was my friend Dee who turned me on to the television show Beverly Hills 90210 years ago, and I became hooked. I mean pretty rich people falling in love and sleeping around., it doesn't get better.Jason Priestley played Brandon Walsh on that show, and he just released a memoir. I figured, it would be interesting to get a glimpse of his experience while he was working on that show. Well, we do get a glimpse of that, but he writes in such a hurried way that we really do not get to learn much. And even though he is forthcoming with a lot of juicy details (he writes how about and why Shannen Doherty was fired from the series) they are still sparse. And the most shocking thing in the book? That there really no meat to it after his days from the show. The book is strictly for his die hard fans. It was my friend Dee who turned me on to the television show Beverly Hills 90210 years ago, and I became hooked. I mean pretty rich people falling in love and sleeping around., it doesn't get better.Jason Priestley played Brandon Walsh on that show, and he just released a memoir. I figured, it would be interesting to get a glimpse of his experience while he was working on that show. Well, we do get a glimpse of that, but he writes in such a hurried way that we really do not get to learn much. And even though he is forthcoming with a lot of juicy details (he writes how about and why Shannen Doherty was fired from the series) they are still sparse. And the most shocking thing in the book? That there really no meat to it after his days from the show. The book is strictly for his die hard fans.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Brown

    I heard about this book when US Magazine recently featured a portion of it. I am a HUGE fan of Beverly Hills, 90210...so much that I have seen every episode in the series at least twice. So, naturally I was anxious to read this memoir. While I did enjoy the detailed recounting of his auto racing career, confirmation of the real reason Shannen Doherty was fired from the show, and explanation of his other business ventures I found this memoir to be lukewarm at best. Much like his acting...it lacke I heard about this book when US Magazine recently featured a portion of it. I am a HUGE fan of Beverly Hills, 90210...so much that I have seen every episode in the series at least twice. So, naturally I was anxious to read this memoir. While I did enjoy the detailed recounting of his auto racing career, confirmation of the real reason Shannen Doherty was fired from the show, and explanation of his other business ventures I found this memoir to be lukewarm at best. Much like his acting...it lacked depth. Unless you are as rabid of a 90210 fan as I am, I would not bother reading this memoir.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Pellerin

    I really enjoyed this book! I've always been a big 90210 fan, so this glimpse into Jason's life was nice. It amazed me how many young actors he crossed paths with throughout his career. He seems like a very genuine and good person - a rarity. All young actors should have to read this as a warning to how crazy life can become after fame. There's no wonder why so many child actors fall into drugs and alcohol. Jason was lucky to come out of that a better person, but it took a lot of tries to finall I really enjoyed this book! I've always been a big 90210 fan, so this glimpse into Jason's life was nice. It amazed me how many young actors he crossed paths with throughout his career. He seems like a very genuine and good person - a rarity. All young actors should have to read this as a warning to how crazy life can become after fame. There's no wonder why so many child actors fall into drugs and alcohol. Jason was lucky to come out of that a better person, but it took a lot of tries to finally get there and get it right! Give it a read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book was a disappointment but somehow I still read the whole thing. I was a huge 90210 fan so I was hoping from more stories from that era. There were a few tidbits but ultimately I thought the book was full of name dropping and he came across as really egotistical. Many of the celebrity stories were not interesting or relevant to his life at all, just seemed like an opportunity to mention that he knew so-and-so celebrity or had met him/her once. It was an easy read but not a memorable one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I really liked this book, until he talks about how he met and fell in love with someone that wasn't me - salt in a wound ;). This was a fun read, as I didn't know much about his life, so I feel more like a proper fan of Jason. His writing style is very straight to the point and includes a lot of name dropping. I was hoping for a few really juicy stories - but there really wasn't anything. I would only recommend this book to die hard fans of his, otherwise I'm sure others would find it quite bori I really liked this book, until he talks about how he met and fell in love with someone that wasn't me - salt in a wound ;). This was a fun read, as I didn't know much about his life, so I feel more like a proper fan of Jason. His writing style is very straight to the point and includes a lot of name dropping. I was hoping for a few really juicy stories - but there really wasn't anything. I would only recommend this book to die hard fans of his, otherwise I'm sure others would find it quite boring.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I thought this was really good! Honestly, I knew very little about Jason Priestley other than he's Brandon Walsh. Good stories, last names, a little dirt now and again. Read with IMDB close by! And, who knew that Robyn Lively from a good show, Savannah was Blake Lively's sister- I didn't, but I do now. My one complaint was regarding the chapter named "Jim & Cindy's House Indianapolis." Jim & Cindy Walsh reference anyone? Definitely worth a read for any 90210 fan. I thought this was really good! Honestly, I knew very little about Jason Priestley other than he's Brandon Walsh. Good stories, last names, a little dirt now and again. Read with IMDB close by! And, who knew that Robyn Lively from a good show, Savannah was Blake Lively's sister- I didn't, but I do now. My one complaint was regarding the chapter named "Jim & Cindy's House Indianapolis." Jim & Cindy Walsh reference anyone? Definitely worth a read for any 90210 fan.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky Levin

    It's not like I was expecting great literature or anything, but I was hoping that (a) the ghostwriter could provide some sort of cohesive narrative or (b) there would be a lot of juicy 90210 gossip. What I got was a lot of name dropping and way too much detail about car racing. It's not like I was expecting great literature or anything, but I was hoping that (a) the ghostwriter could provide some sort of cohesive narrative or (b) there would be a lot of juicy 90210 gossip. What I got was a lot of name dropping and way too much detail about car racing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Seymour

    This book didn't tell me much more about him that I didn't already know . I know memoirs are to tell about yourselves , but this one came off as bragging in much of it . I hate that because I really liked him until I read this book. I had to force myself to finish it . It's kinda boring ... This book didn't tell me much more about him that I didn't already know . I know memoirs are to tell about yourselves , but this one came off as bragging in much of it . I hate that because I really liked him until I read this book. I had to force myself to finish it . It's kinda boring ...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    One of my favorite shows way back when. The book was better than I expected and didn't realize he had accomplished so much. Interesting. One of my favorite shows way back when. The book was better than I expected and didn't realize he had accomplished so much. Interesting.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Who doesn't love Jason Priestley ? Thanks Meghan for the fun easy summer read. Took all of 2 days to read, and it was nice to reminisce about my fave tv show and hear a bit of gossip! Who doesn't love Jason Priestley ? Thanks Meghan for the fun easy summer read. Took all of 2 days to read, and it was nice to reminisce about my fave tv show and hear a bit of gossip!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    4.5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Petty Lisbon

    This was a decent book. Personally, I like memoirs by comedians, so this book wasn't as good of a read as say, Fran Drescher or Rachel Dratch's books, but it was still pretty good. There were some parts where the writing suffered because Jason perhaps isn't a natural author (some of these stories have as much description as "the jock in your middle school language arts class writing about a rec sports game for his personal memoir", every chapter is 2 to 5 pages, and the dialogue feels like it wa This was a decent book. Personally, I like memoirs by comedians, so this book wasn't as good of a read as say, Fran Drescher or Rachel Dratch's books, but it was still pretty good. There were some parts where the writing suffered because Jason perhaps isn't a natural author (some of these stories have as much description as "the jock in your middle school language arts class writing about a rec sports game for his personal memoir", every chapter is 2 to 5 pages, and the dialogue feels like it was written by an old person, such as using ellipses occasionally), but this book went above and beyond the regular celebrity memoir for being a bunch of different celebrity encounters through their jobs. Jason does a great job talking about the different parts of his career, how he became Brandon Walsh, how Beverly Hills 90210 sort of stunted his development and how his car accident forced him to grow up, and getting married and having kids. Say what you want about his acting, but you have to at least admire how he always wants to improve. I mainly read this because I wanted to know if he'd talk about being self aware about his career and getting typecast and what celebrities do between projects and I got a great look at that. It's a good summer book. Specific comments: (view spoiler)[ -The Bernie stuff was really sad, especially because I realized wait, I do know him. And his IMDB was sadder. -The Shannen stuff was a little much. I don't really know or care if the exact stories he said with her happened in those words and for all we know, he was told to fabricate stuff to sell more copies, but it was kind of messy to just continuously take shots at her throughout the book instead of just the airplane scene in 1990 or when she got fired. I guess I'm just specifically 'pressed because for Charmed, Shannen wanted to keep the show more serious and focused on the sisters and was (most likely) ousted when Constance left, while Brad wanted it to become the skimpy costume show. I would hope Jason would understand, being the perfectionist he is. And it just makes me sad because she's sick now and her career is stalled and she might not be able to have kids (if she wants them, I have no clue) and she seems to have patched things up with most of her 90210 cast members and now is an animal advocate on social media so having all of this stuff blown up in print just feels excessive. -It was very interesting to read all the Tori stuff. I know she had a weird life growing up but all the stuff she did was really.... odd. -I feel like the Mischa Barton shout out was unneeded. I'm surprised he didn't say anything about not meeting Amanda Bynes, but this was around the time of her substance abuse and mental health issues, so maybe he was told to lay off. -The Aaron stuff was sweet. I never knew how close they were. I felt bad when Jason left 90210 and regretted it. I also feel bad for how he was barely able to do other projects during the hiatus for the 32 episode seasons, so he was put in a box. Calendar Girl flopping (and him realizing it was his only chance years later) and Cold Blooded not getting released because the company went bankrupt (I watched it and it was a pretty good movie) was sad. Even reading about all of his other projects, where I might not necessarily want to watch them, made me realize how actors really struggle. I'm glad he at least has his career in a better place now. -I felt bad reading about how he left 90210. That would bother me so much. -I would have loved for him to talk about Love and Death on Long Island way more, because that felt like it was one of the only movies he didn't mention for how he got the part or what filming it was like, even though he mentioned John Hurt a couple of times. (hide spoiler)]

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    So I am a huge Beverly Hills, 90210 nerd from the 90's. I loved this show and watched every episode, until the end of the series. So when I saw this in the library I knew I wanted to read it, just for nostalgia's sake and to get some behind the scenes dirt on what it was like working on that show. It's a quick, interesting read, and I really liked Jason's tone and lighthearted way of describing his amazing life and career. He is still, and has always been, an incredibly motivated, driven, hard-w So I am a huge Beverly Hills, 90210 nerd from the 90's. I loved this show and watched every episode, until the end of the series. So when I saw this in the library I knew I wanted to read it, just for nostalgia's sake and to get some behind the scenes dirt on what it was like working on that show. It's a quick, interesting read, and I really liked Jason's tone and lighthearted way of describing his amazing life and career. He is still, and has always been, an incredibly motivated, driven, hard-working individual and I was really glad to read that. Of course he was also catapulted to fame in the early 90's as one of the stars of the hottest show on TV, so of course as a young attractive guy in his early 20's there was plenty of partying, women, and traveling, but he maintained his strict work ethic and I really admired that. He continues to act, produce, and direct, and now is a married father of 2. Hard to believe 90210 debuted 27 years ago--blows my mind and makes me feel old!! But this was a nice trip down memory lane. I thought the majority of the book would be about 90210 and it wasn't (there was a good chunk and lots of fun info) but it was cool to read about tons of other projects and jobs he has had too, including a race car driver where he suffered a near life-ending crash. Fun, quick read if you were a fan of the show and of him!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hicks

    I’m hooked on celebrity memoirs right now, and I started the journey by happenstance. I found Jim Breuer’s memoir in hardcover at Goodwill and bought it on impulse for a dollar. Then I picked up Steve Guttenberg’s memoir while browsing the library shelves in the movies category, which I wanna say is 791.43 on the Dewey Decimal System. (Where my librarians at? Holler!) And third was another library-shelf impulse checkout - Jason Priestley’s new creatively and succinctly titled Jason Priest I’m hooked on celebrity memoirs right now, and I started the journey by happenstance. I found Jim Breuer’s memoir in hardcover at Goodwill and bought it on impulse for a dollar. Then I picked up Steve Guttenberg’s memoir while browsing the library shelves in the movies category, which I wanna say is 791.43 on the Dewey Decimal System. (Where my librarians at? Holler!) And third was another library-shelf impulse checkout - Jason Priestley’s new creatively and succinctly titled Jason Priestley: A Memoir . Priestley’s memoir began its life with me as a five-minute bathroom read. I’m a huge SNL obsessive*, and I remembered he’d hosted the show in 1991, so I figured I’d find that chapter and knock it out while on the toilet. Priestley’s account of hosting SNL is about a page and a half long - Lorne Michaels was inspiring, Dana Carvey was brilliant, it was hard work but fun. He’d totally do it again if he was asked. (He won’t be.) The end. I still had about four minutes of bathroom time left, so I read on, into some short chapters of 90210 stories. Nothing too brilliant or insightful, but it was just good enough, and it dealt with an era during which I was an early teenager watching a ton of TV, a ton of movies, reading entertainment news everyday. I just kept reading. The whole thing’s got a humble, mellow, nice-guy vibe. Priestley was in all the right places at the right time, he worked his ass off, and he made it big. Which is a common narrative, I’m discovering, in your more pedestrian three-star celebrity memoirs. Priestley was born in Vancouver and got his first small part in a movie at age 6. (The movie was called Stacy, and on the first day of shooting, the depressed lead actress jumped off a building, breaking both her legs. “I could not have been happier about how my day was going,” a self-centered Priestley writes with a straight face.) With the dawning realization that his career can’t get to the next level in Canada, he starts commuting to L.A. and lands a guest role in 21 Jump Street. His performance is stellar enough that he ends up losing his virginity to Holly Robinson and becoming her boyfriend. (Right place, right time.) Six other minor TV appearances and a couple movies precede his big break - being cast as the lead on Aaron Spelling’s primetime soap Beverly Hills 90210. I was 12 when the show premiered, and I watched it straight from the beginning, though the ratings sucked bad enough throughout the first season that the show was almost canceled. They had a genius idea, though - start airing new episodes from the second season in the dead of summer, when the target audience is most unoccupied and every other show is in reruns. 90210 had 32-episode seasons, which is almost unheard-of for a one-hour scripted TV drama. So Priestley’s Canadian, eh, and he’s a total nice guy. He’ll tell you the cast of 90210 used to have sex with each other, but he won’t say who got together with whom. But even he can’t resist outing costar Shannen Doherty as a total bitch**. Priestley lets quotes from Doherty do the talking, rather than editorializing in his narrative. And he has a regret - he left “90210” too soon. It’s funny to think eight years in was “too soon” to leave (shit, I stopped watching after a year and a half), but on 90210 Priestley had an audience, massive screen time and the freedom to direct and write. He can understand now why he should’ve stayed then. Rounding out the book are a number of stories about what happened after 90210. (Answer: not much.) He fell in love. He got married. He was instrumental in helping the Barenaked Ladies break through to the American market. He got into a horrific car crash at the Kentucky Speedway while racing an Indy Pro Series car during a practice run. And, oh yeah, he’s friends with Bradley Cooper. (Coop! Holler!) The cover of JP: A Memoir looks all “teen heartthrob,” and the intellect inside is about equal to that. Which is fine, honestly. This book held my interest, and it was over quick. I liked Priestley’s conversational tone and wasn’t hurting for deep insights as a reader. There were good laughs in the book that occurred naturally, but on the occasions Priestley tried to be funny, it was a little more sketchy. - * = I can indirectly thank my SNL obsession for being my gateway to celebrity memoirs. Breuer of course was a cast member from 1995-98. Guttenberg hosted in 1986-87, and according to him, his episode was great. (I’ve seen it. It wasn’t.) ** = My research for this review led me to a link that said Doherty “had a bone to pick” with Priestley for his portrayal of her in JP: A Memoir . In the actual article, Doherty nicely cops out with a phrase along the lines of, “I have day-to-day journals of my activities from the time, and without consulting those, I can’t tell you what Priestley got right and what he got wrong.” Like, I’m sure if Shannen Doherty goes back and reads her 1990 journal, it’s gonna say, “August 23: Scratched out eyes of PR person for sending town car to pick me up, instead of limo.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    I was kind of embarrassed to buy this book but Jason priestly and 90210 is my biggest guilty pleasure. I relished the series and was devastated when it ended. Reading Jason’s autobio, was so interesting and well written. I am so surprised whenever I read actors writing- how can one person be so talented over a myriad of arts? Jason is such a down to earth, intelligent and over-all loving person it’s hard not to binge watch 90210 all over again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deb Todd

    Not what I expected The book was ok, but kinda boring in spots. There was a lot of name dropping and he seemed to be trying to convince the reader (or himself) that he is a big star. I think most people reading his book expect to read mostly about his time on 90210 because that’s pretty much all he’s known for. There was very little about that.

  28. 5 out of 5

    DropOfOcean

    Perfectly readable especially if you were 90210 fan. However it’s skim on details and doesn’t really reveal much about Jason. Some parts of his life he totally skips (like his first marriage) and most of the time prefers to document his work projects instead of his personal life. It’s rather obvious that he likes to keep his life private but then why the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Erb Bognar

    This is an interesting book if you are a fan of Jason’s. I wish he were a little more candid or at least up front about what he omitted from his memoir. He never even mentioned his first marriage and if you only read his memoir, you would never know he has been married twice. His writing voice is friendly and genuine. I enjoyed it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    I’m giving it four stars because I wanted a little bit more out of the book I wanted a little bit more behind the scenes. It was a fascinating read I don’t know I love reading about the lives of people you watch on TV. It was an interesting insight to relationships from our favorite ZIP Code shell Although those details were only a few sentences it gave you a peek behind the curtain.

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