The longtime documentary czar read two uproarious chapters from her new memoir for Deal With It’s keynote address.
“My advice on being a woman, I’ll save for another time. I’m here to hawk my book,” joked HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins from the podium at the fifth annual Deal With It: A Women’s Conference.
The veteran executive managed to do both as the keynote speaker at the event, hosted by the Motion Picture & Television Fund and held on Sunday at the Montage Beverly Hills. Nevins explained that she wrote her memoir You Don’t Look Your Age… and Other Fairy Tales (published in May via Flatiron Books) “to separate myself from my job.” Her 35-year career at HBO has presented plenty of opportunity to interact with others on a variety of important subjects and issues, but people seldom knew the woman behind the producer.
“They would say, ‘I didn’t know you were married, had a kid… had a facelift,’” Nevins remarked, with timing a stand-up comic would envy. “You can’t tell? I was hoping you would; I paid enough for it.”
That was a fitting intro for Nevins to read “Facing Face-lifts,” the first chapter of her book. “Don’t take it personally,” she deadpanned to the invite-only crowd of approximately 300 industry women seeking guidance and commiseration in career, estate planning, health and wellness, family and relationships, finances and other practical subjects.
Nevins didn’t need any of her audiobook’s celebrity narrators – among them, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham and Audra McDonald – to deliver a pitch-perfect, very funny account of her first facelift, at age 56. “That was quite a while ago, by the way,” she interjected from the stage. “I’ve had two.”
Nevins wrote candidly about the identity crisis surrounding her decision – “In addition to being fearful of the anesthesia and ultimately of my death, I was betraying my liberal, earnest…