March 18, 2023
GSTAAD—Tom Sizemore, the American character actor who recently died broke and homeless at 61, was a hell of a thespian. In films such as Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and Heat, he played tough soldiers and gangsters whose actions obscured a soft heart. Acting is not mugging à la Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino. It’s what Sizemore conveyed subliminally. I never met him, but he once rang me from L.A. with a question.
It was back during the mid-’90s, in the Cadogan Square days, and I had had a late one. The telephone rang around 6 a.m. and an American voice came on: “Taki, this is Tom Sizemore.” “Good morning, Mr. Sizemore, do you know what time it is?” “Ah, it’s around 10 in the evening.” The reason my suddenly NBF Tom Sizemore was ringing was because he had recently become engaged to one Linda Evans—no, not the actress but a much younger Brit blonde I had taken out rather a lot in the past—and they were having a hell of a fight because I could hear it 6,000 miles away. I won’t go into details because they were quite private, but what Tom Sizemore needed to know from me was a matter of principle. He and Linda had obviously agreed that what I said would be it. My answer to him was similar to the one Rupert Murdoch gave to some self-important hack who challenged him upon taking over the Times back in the early ’80s: “He who pays the bills calls the tune.”
“Thank you, thanks a lot,” said Sizemore, and it’s a pity I cannot repeat what la Evans screamed at me from the background. What is far, far sadder and pathetic is the fact that among a myriad of very rich Sammy Glicks in Hollywood, no one lent him a hand when he was sleeping rough and was penniless.
Otherwise, I’m back in plaster, elbow and knee gone. The last time I was encased was 2016, and on my way to Coronis for some fun and games. Needless to say, I missed that particular shindig, magnificently falling out of my bedroom window dead drunk, breaking my right arm and left leg. I sent my Livanos hostess a picture. and I was told Pugs members had a very cheap laugh over it. This time there was nothing ridiculous about it. While shadowboxing I heard the right elbow snap while the left kneecap popped. The irony is how unromantic the injuries were. I was dead sober. It’s a far, far better thing to fall out of a window drunk and in a dinner jacket than to be in plaster for throwing kicks and punches at imaginary enemies à la Don Quixote.
Never mind, everything passes, and this will too. At least, I hope so. Not for the first time, the cast they put on my arm in hospital started to feel like a plastic python during the first night. It squeezed and squeezed, and soon the pain was unbearable. Waking Alexandra up, I told her this was a lefty plot by the doctors and nurses at the nearby hospital. She somehow managed to cut open the cast and suddenly it felt wonderful, like being on a desert island, sex-starved and alone, and seeing a small boat arrive and from it an ethereal half-naked Lily James emerging. Bliss! But instead of Lily, the knee popped out again, throbbing, swollen, and extremely painful to the touch. All I could think of that ghastly night was that I’d take double the pain if I could at least have Lily, but there was no cigar. What I should do is move in with my buddy Jeremy, high and low life going down the tubes together.
Mind you, life’s still fun. Reading Charles Moore about the impartiality of civil servants, or lack of it, almost made me laugh. Bureaucrats and journalists are mostly always on the left, the latter even if working for a conservative paper or TV station. I remember watching the dawn come up with Vere Rothermere at, I think, a Lisa Campbell ball very long ago, both in our cups. “One can own a conservative paper,” said the Daily Mail owner, “but it doesn’t mean those who write for it are of the same opinion.”
We all know the name of the game by now: If you believe in Palestinian rights and a homeland—which was theirs to begin with—you’re a virulent anti-Semite. If you are against liberating identity from biology, you are a vicious, anti-trans Nazi. If you describe an American football game played by people without a cervix, you’re in like Flynn. Worst of all, if you dare say that 22-year-old Albanian men posing as 12-year-olds and jumping ahead should be sent back, you’re Goebbels, Himmler, and Hitler rolled into one. Get with it, readers—go woke and the media will love you.
In the meantime I missed the greatest party of the year, one that was planned—or so it seems—to coincide with my Waterloo against a makiwara. Marcel Bach flew in two orchestras from Monaco, invited all the swells, and even had his girl Friday ring and ask whom I wanted to sit next to. The proper answer should have been a nurse or a mortician, but I simply declined due to a medical emergency and hoped for an invitation next year.