“Whether you have followed much of Ashton’s career or not, this is a uniquely written biography and a brilliant insight into the life of an actress.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Actress, playwright and director Zawe Ashton started acting age six and during her career has become a ‘cult heroine’. In Character Breakdown, Ashton explores the difficult line between where the character stops and where she as a real person begins.
This biography, of sorts, is written in a unique way with conversations replayed as scripts and each chapter introduced with a ‘character breakdown’ – information about the character and story in this chapter – whether this is a character Ashton is rehearsing for, currently performing as or indeed a stage in her life where something important happened. This way of writing perfectly portrays the blurry line between the characters we see on our screens and stages and the real person, Zawe Ashton.
Ashton explores some extremely complex and deep subjects such as being a BAME women in the acting profession and her often difficult relationships with her mental health but she does so in a way that is perfectly balanced between a serious tone and the witty and funny Zawe Ashton fans may associate with her character Vod from Fresh Meat.
Whether you have followed much of Ashton’s career or not, this is a uniquely written biography and a brilliant insight into the life of an actress. Just one word of warning, if you were hoping for whole chapters on Channel 4’s Fresh Meat, then I’m afraid this isn’t the book for you. If, however, you are interested in the world of acting or Zawe Ashton’s life in general, then I highly recommend giving Character Breakdown a read.
Catherine Muxworthy, Booksbirdblog
Added 12th May 2019