Next Tuesday at 7 p.m., longtime entertainment reporter Nelson Aspen will host a launch party at JackRabbit Sports (140 West 72nd Street) for his newest memoir.
As anyone who grabs a copy of My Prime Time: Middle Age Is Only The Beginning! before or after will quickly discover, Aspen has packed a century’s worth of highlights into his first 50 years: actor; cabaret performer; Australian morning show correspondent; marathon runner; and more. The author wastes no time at the top of his breezy, candid tome, explaining how his mother’s efforts with diet food led to a surfeit of teenage weight, just in time for relentless high school bullying.
From there, it’s a hit parade of anecdotes, factoids and solid life advice. In the last case, not just from Aspen himself but also from close friends and some of the many celebrities he has interviewed. At one point, the 51-year-old author also lists his “Favorite Grown-Up Celebrities,” an honor roll that includes 56-year-old Viggo Mortensen:
This painter, poet and musician also publishes the works of little known authors and artists and is politically active and remarkably fair and bipartisan in his views and responses.
If you saw 2007’s Eastern Promises, you know he’s no slouch when it comes to hitting the gym. He’s lived all over the world and is multilingual (I’ve witnessed him impress international reporters with offers of conducting interviews in their native tongues) even though he was born and raised in good old New York City.
This revered, respected and awarded actor is humble enough to not mind having a chuckle about his early acting days. I suspect it is a sense of curiosity, love and pursuit of artistry and a traveler’s sense of wanderlust that keeps him a leading man at any age.
Aspen, whose pal Glenn included a few trivia testers in a toast at the reporter’s 50th birthday bash, ends his delightful book with 50 such questions of his own. And really, that may be our only complaint about My Prime Time – far too many of those questions are too easy!
[Jacket cover courtesy: New Holland Australia]