Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood

Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood

by Steven Cojocaru

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Before Steven Cojocaru was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, he could never have imagined himself living anything other than a high-glam Hollywood lifestyle. A bon vivant on two coasts, he held jobs as both the red carpet guru for Entertainment Tonight and the fashion correspondent for the Today show, hauling his suitcase full of flat irons and designer boots from New York to Los Angeles and back again, every week. He was Cojo, professional glamour boy with a barbed tongue who went shopping with J.Lo and traded fashion tips with Gwyneth.

But a painful and ironically unglamorous reality would begin to form itself around his life, and Cojo found himself with a new Rolodex of A-List friends: The kidney team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In a memoir that moves beyond the celebrity, Glamour, Interrupted is an inspiring and darkly humorous story about how, in the midst of a world obsessed with youth and beauty, Cojo survived what turned out to be the fight of his life. From drug-induced meltdowns to waking up in the hospital on life support, Cojo recounts his desperate hunt for a new kidney—after a failed transplant and months of dialysis—that ended with a twist of fate and forged an even stronger bond with his mother.

With a bit of eye cream, a little concealer, and just a touch of bronzer, he found a strength he didn't know he had, and used his unfaltering sense of humor to help him survive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061744259
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
File size: 645 KB

About the Author

Steven Cojocaru is a red carpet fixture as the fashion and celebrity correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. He is also the author of the best-selling Red Carpet Diaries: Confessions of a Glamour Boy. He lives in Los Angeles.

Read an Excerpt

Glamour, Interrupted
How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood

Chapter One

If My Kidney Had Handles, It Would Be a Marc Jacobs Bag

"Are you wearing eyelash extensions?"

I'm in the middle of one of my signature probing interviews, and sitting across from me is Jude Law and his hypnotically azure orbs. I've already told him that he looks like something out of Old Hollywood, shrieking: "You're the new Errol Flynn, so retro, swashbuckling matinee idol!" But he isn't the slightest bit amused by my interviewing style.

"Um, eyelashes? I don't understand?"

"You have the most beautiful eyelashes I've ever seen," I continue. "I have eyelash envy. They can't possibly be real: They are the eyelashes of Aphrodite."

"I thought we were going to talk about my new movie," Jude says, his face slowly turning red.

"OK—why don't you tell me about your eyelashes in the movie, then."

Jude and I are sitting in a suite in the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, with two cameras trained on our faces. Off-camera, a production assistant is on duty, holding my Gatorade at the ready with a straw in it so that I don't smudge my hydrating lip balm. My T-shirt has been embroidered with a skull of purple antique Austrian crystals left over from the Ottoman Empire. My superskinny jeans are so tight I'm beginning to sound like Jamie Lynn Spears.

But such are the supreme sacrifices one makes when you are Cojo, Professional Featherweight. It is 2004, and my life in Hollywood is fraught with special complications. My personal spray tanner keeps getting called away onemergency because Mariah's elbows have smeared. Linds at the Chateau has stolen my hairdresser, and I'm dying for a blowout. I have to send threats to Will and Jada, warning them that if they don't stop hogging our car detailer, I'm going to put them on my Worst Dressed List.

I think I live a life of high drama, but I have no idea.

When you are a member in good standing of the Professional Gadflies of America Association—PGAA for short—you are bound by strict rules. You must go to at least five parties a week (check). You can't sleep in your own bed for more than ten nights in a row (check). Your tailor is British, your cobbler is Italian, and you fly to Zurich to get your black market sheep-cell face-rejuvenating shots (check).

Growing up in the suburbs of Montreal, I had been a glam-obsessed junior fashionista: I kept my eyes glued to all three channels on our television, devouring every image delivered from the red carpet. It was a parallel universe, and by the age of six or seven I knew the difference between a one-shoulder, a halter and a scoop neck. When I was invited to a friend's house and instructed to "Go play trains with Jeremy," I would instead dart upstairs to the mother's closet hoping to play with yards of carpet-dragging tulle and chiffon.

In Montreal, the most legendary fashion editor was Iona Monahan of the Montreal Gazette. The picture on her column showed her in a chignon and oversized glasses for theatrical flair: To me, she was larger than life, and terrifying, sort of a Canuck Anna Wintour. I was writing in my spare time. My English teacher had really encouraged me to develop my talents, and by the age of sixteen, I knew I wanted to write about fashion. Ms. Monahan was the only game in town, so I cold-called her to introduce myself. I never expected her to answer her own phone, and when she did, with her gruff Lauren Bacall voice, I stammered out how I was Montreal's biggest fashion fan. I suggested that she start covering men's fashion and toiletries. "Why don't I do a survey of local celebrities—radio jocks, sports figures—and ask them their favorite colognes?" I asked.

After concluding that the vast majority of Montreal males enjoyed dousing themselves with Drakkar Noir, a petit career was born. I didn't even have my driver's learning permit, but soon I was writing about fashion and everything glam for a top Canadian fashion magazine. By my early 20s, a raw, primitive version of "Cojo" had emerged, making waves in journalism and hitting every party in Montreal that wasn't canceled due to a snow storm. But I knew that print wouldn't be able to contain me: I was going to be a television talk show superstar, and eventually have my line of hair gels and loofah sponges.

Somehow, accidentally, I segued into doing public relations for the Just For Laughs Comedy festival, where comics from all over the world—especially Hollywood—perform. Through the festival I met a young Hollywood couple, agent Steve Levine and his singer wife Linda. They saw something in me that even I didn't, and kept encouraging me to move to Los Angeles to try my hand at my dream of being on TV. In the early 1990s, to their chagrin, shock, and amazement, I finally did. I packed up my collection of barrettes and moved to Los Angeles, a city whose denizens I just knew were panting for the opportunity to hear my opinions on such matters as sequinned sheaths and silky column dresses. I arrived on Steve and Linda's doorstep, and asked them to be my adopted family. Luckily, they didn't slam the door in my face.

The Levines were my shock absorbers. But besides them I was all alone. I starved, working as a temp at Disney, spritzing Opium cologne at Robinson's May, and working as a personal assistant for a publicist who had me hand-plucking the coarse hair from her chin. I was beginning to realize that my looks could only take me as far as . . . nowhere. Being a trophy boy was probably not in the cards for me. But my Hollywood dream was still alive.

Everything changed when I began to write freelance about celebrity fashion for People magazine's "Style Watch" column. "Style Watch" was only half a page and it didn't even have my name on it—I was just a contributor. But eventually I climbed my way up the People ladder: As celebrity fashion grew more popular, I was granted a full bylined column.

Glamour, Interrupted
How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood
. Copyright © by Steven Cojocaru. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
If My Kidney Had Handles, It Would Be a Marc Jacobs Bag     1
An Enzyme Kelp Glycolic Oxygenating Facial Can't Cure Everything     11
Welcome to Hotel Cedars-Sinai     21
Tyra's {dollar}10 Million Ta Tas and One Priceless Kidney     29
Always Exfoliate Before Surgery     43
Dude, Where's My Catheter?     55
Coping With Concealer     65
Kidney Is The New Black     77
Requiem for Anabelle     87
Diva Does Dialysis     95
One Day I'll See My Privates Again     109
Mr. Bloated Red Carpet Fancy Pants     117
The Miracle     125
One Tarnished Belly Ring, Manischewitz Wine Spritzers, and Air Kisses from the Gurney     131
El Cojo Puede Hacer Pis (or The Tinkle Heard Around the World)     139
From Paris with Love     147
Learn More About Kidney Disease     157
Acknowledgments     159

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Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a GREAT book. I couldn't wait until the day it came out. I was at the bookstore first thing to buy it. I am curretly going through dealing with kideny disease, PD dialysis, along with other issues so I could definately relate to his story. It was like reading my own story. Great job on a book so well done Cojo!!!!!
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick, funny read about a really serious topic. Only someone like Cojo could give us a smarmy, biting, sarcastic, funny, sweet, scary, loving and of course totally fabulous book about kidney disease and its' effect on one family. I didn't expect to, but I really loved this book. There is much more to Steven Cojocaru than great style and an eye for fashion faux pas!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lost my Mom to kidney disease June 24, 2007. I remember when my Mom was on her medication she would say,'I seen Cojo on tv and he is as swollen as I am and I don't feel as bad'. She never wanted to leave the house being as swollen as she was due to the medicine, but seeing him on national television made her think, he is out in the public so I can do it too. All of the symptoms of kidney disease were there and I realize that now. My Mom just waited too long to see a Doctor. She was only 59 years old. The doctors said her kidney disease was caused by untreated high blood pressure. Many thanks to Cojo for this wonderful book. I only wish my Mom was still here to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
And his book! Glamour Interrupted is the perfect gift to give to everyone in your life. When you're not cracking up, you'll be tearing up. He's an inspiration! Now I have to get his first book : )
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Cojo is such an inspiration. I think he is such a sweet guy. I recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading 'Glamour, Interrupted' and I loved it! Considering his occupation, I expected the book to be a little more surface. But it was really poignant. And I experienced the gamut of emotions. I laughed. I cried. But, most of all, was inspired. And he doesn't lose his stellar sense of humor in the face of tragedy. A true testament to his character. Very inspirational.