The Jennifer Grant “Good Stuff” Book SigningJun 30th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Celebrity Sightings
Back on Thursday, May 26th (I told you I am way behind in my reporting! ), Vroman’s Bookstore welcomed Jennifer Grant for a signing and discussion of her new book Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant which chronicles the actress’ experiences being raised by one of the most iconic movie stars of all time. And while most of the people attending the event were fans of Jennifer’s famous father, I have been a long-time fan of Jennifer herself, ever since she appeared as Steve Sander’s (aka Ian Ziering’s) longtime girlfriend Celeste Lundy during Seasons 3 and 4 of fave show Beverly Hills, 90210.
Jennifer also made an appearance as Nina Bookbinder, the girl Chandler Bing (aka Matthew Perry) couldn’t fire, in the Season 1 episode of Friends titled “The One With Two Parts: Part I”. But I digress.
Because I have never actually seen a Cary Grant movie, before attending the reading I did not have much interest in reading Good Stuff. My only reason for going to the event was to meet and, of course, get a photograph with Jennifer. But, let me tell you, all of that changed as soon as I started looking through the memoir. As I have mentioned before, I am just slightly anal, so I arrived at the signing about 3 hours early. Well, not only did those three hours ensure me a front row seat, but they also gave me time to peruse through the book and I was immediately mesmerized. Cary Grant was not only an amazing man, but an amazing father! He retired in 1966, the same year that Jennifer was born, so that he could devote all of his time to being a dad. Because Jennifer’s mother, Dyan Cannon (whom the actress is the spitting image of!), was at the height of her career at the time and often on location filming movies for months on end, most of Jennifer’s childhood was spent with her father. And Cary wanted to document his only child’s early years as best he could. Not only did he save and catalogue ever single letter ever exchanged between the two and every single photograph ever taken of them, but he also made hundreds upon hundreds of audio recordings of their time together, many of which are transcribed in the book. Sweetest of all, though, was the fact that, on the mornings when Jennifer was not staying with him, Cary would wait along the sidewalk of her bus route just to wave to her as her bus passed by on the way to school.
The event began right on time and I just about died when I caught my first glimpse of Jennifer as she looks almost exactly the same today as she did eighteen years ago when she was on 90210. Jennifer started out the evening by reading a few passages from her book and I have to say that she is a fabulous writer and a fabulous speaker. Her voice has an almost lyrical quality to it and I was absolutely mesmerized listening to her. I was completely shocked, though, when she adopted a British accent to read her father’s words! Prior to that evening, I was unaware that Cary Grant was British!
Jennifer then opened up the session to questions from the audience and, even though A LOT were asked, for once they were actually well-crafted. I should explain here, to those who do not regularly attend book signings and television screenings, that people at these events usually ask the most asinine questions imaginable and it absolutely drives me mad! If you have the chance to ask a question of an actor, author, or director, make it a good one, people! And, for the love of God, do NOT ask the celebrity to get you a role in a movie or TV show! And yes, that has been asked at almost EVERY SINGLE EVENT I have ever attended! Most of the questions asked of Jennifer, though, were about what it was like to grow up with such a famous father. In answer to those questions, Jennifer told numerous anecdotes and, as amazing as it may sound, it seems she had a very normal childhood. The two often squabbled about Jennifer’s choice in music and boys, they took frequent outings to the Fox Hills Mall – one of Cary’s favorite haunts – and played regular family games of Trivial Pursuit. She said she never viewed Cary as a celebrity, but, while she knew he was special and certainly different than her friends’ fathers, to her he was always just “Dad”.
When it came time for the signing portion of the reading, the Vroman’s coordinator asked Jennifer if she would be willing to take posed photographs with those in attendance, to which the actress gave a puzzled look and said, “Of course I will!”, as if she could not figure out why anyone wouldn’t take a picture with their fans. LOVE IT!
When it was my turn to meet Jennifer, I told her what a huge fan I had been of Beverly Hills, 90210 and she said that the show was actually the very first acting job she had ever had and was one of the best experiences of her life. She told me that all of the actors were extremely nice and welcoming and that she looks back on that time with incredible fondness. She took quite a bit of time to chat with me and I even got to tell her about my experiences as an extra in the final episode of the series and that the 90210 theme song was still the ringtone on my cell phone. Jennifer was so abundantly sweet and warm, it was almost unbelievable.
As I was leaving Vroman’s, I opened the book to read what Jennifer had signed and almost died over her inscription. It reads, “To Lindsay, Thank you for watching 90210 – your smile is infectious. Jennifer Grant” OMG nicest inscription EVER! Especially considering that so many celebrities will not even personalize books at their signings! Meeting Jennifer was such an incredible experience and I love her even more now than I did before! And while I have not started to officially read Good Stuff yet, it is the next book on my “To Read” list and after I do so, I will most definitely be stalking the many locations mentioned in it.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: You can purchase a copy of Jennifer Grant’s book, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant, here. Vroman’s Bookstore is located at 695 East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. You can visit the store’s official website here. And you can check out Vroman’s upcoming author events here.