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Two-time Academy Award winner Geena Davis will publish a memoir on October 13 titled Dying of Politeness (HarperOne), and Oprah Daily has the exclusive cover reveal.
Davis is best known for roles such as Thelma in Thelma & Louise and Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own, as well as for her Oscar-winning performance in the The Accidental Tourist, a 1988 film based on the Anne Tyler novel. But like the character Thelma, Davis writes that badassery didn't come naturally to her. She describes being raised by parents who were so polite, they almost allowed the driver of a car in which they were passengers to veer into incoming traffic because they didn’t want to criticize the man at the wheel. But over time, with acting roles that emboldened her and role models who inspired her (not to mention becoming an expert archer), she went on not only to become stronger and more self-confident in her personal and professional lives, but to become a change agent in the larger world. Davis is now widely recognized for her tireless advocacy on behalf of women and girls as founder and chair of the nonprofit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentage of female characters, and reduce gender stereotyping, in media made for children. Her work with the Institute led to her second Oscar in 2020, the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
“I may have wanted to become an actor so fervently because I could use acting to fill out the persona of someone confident in their abilities—someone I desperately wanted to be like in real life,” Davis writes in the memoir. “Miraculously, the characters I’ve played have helped transform me, slowly, in fits and starts, into someone who can stand up for herself.…”
The book’s cover was shot by photographer Mark Seliger. It reinforces the theme, that Davis’s tendency for much of her life was to play the role of the polite person, even when it might have been in her best interest to speak up: Help! There’s a bear sitting across from me!!!
And for fun, readers can also look forward to many juicy tidbits about costars such as Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum, and yes, Brad Pitt, as well as fascinating takes on, for example, Susan Sarandon, whom Davis credits with being one of the most influential people in her life.
I feel a preorder coming on....
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