Oscars, orgies and horrid Hudson: fact v fiction in ‘Hollywood’
Did the KKK burn crosses in Tinsel Town? Who’s the real Camille? Who slept with who? Here’s the real history behind the series
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood whisked us off to an alternative universe in which Sharon Tate survived the murderous madness of the Manson Family. Now comes Ryan Murphy’s equally fantastical Hollywood, which dreamily wonders what the Golden Age of cinema might have looked like had the doors been thrown open to gays, African-Americans and other minorities.
Fact and fiction are blended insouciantly by Murphy. He peppers the action with historical figures such as Rock Hudson, Anna May Wong, Hattie McDaniel, Eleanor Roosevelt and notorious agent to the stars Henry Willson.
At the same time, many of the details that feel true in Hollywood turn out to be pure invention. There never was a thrusting young actor named Jack Castello. Or a gay African-American screenwriter called Archie Coleman. Ace Pictures, the studio at the centre of story, is a Murphy fancy. ..