The life and times of Demi Moore

May 17, 2020

Demi Moore’s memoir, Inside Out, chronicles her life off camera.

There is more to Hollywood diva Demi Moore than meets the eye; the former Mrs. Bruce Willis had a flourishing career in the 1990s and was considered to be amongst the most influential actresses in the world at that time. Be it her performance in Ghost, A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal and Disclosure, she was always at the top of her game; a chronology of her work explains it better. However, it is her life behind the camera that is discussed more in her memoir Inside Out, where she speaks, for the first time, about a troubled childhood, her failed marriages and her addiction that saw her distancing from her kids.

The book takes readers through her personal life; she explains why she married and left Ashton Kutcher, how she handles being ‘just a friend’ with her ex, Bruce Willis, and why her career nosedived in the same decade it peaked. She shares how her mother’s friend sexually assaulted her at the age of 15, why she moved out of her childhood home after her 16th birthday and how her first marriage was not to Bruce Willis but to rock musician Freddy Moore. The actress turned author speaks from the heart, detail-dives into everything good, bad and ugly that happened to her. The details ensure that the readers know that everything bad that happened to her was primarily because of her mother.

The memoir is divided into three parts. The first part deals with an unhappy childhood, growing up with a suicidal mother and a cheating father who fought at all times. To make matters worse, she accidentally found out that the person she thought was her father was not her biological father. Her issues with her mother were so intense that before she could strike Demi for the first time, Demi did the ‘honors’. The only positive outcome of that phase of her life was that while helping German actress Nastassja Kinski understand the script of Roman Polanski’s Tess, the acting bug bit Demi. She even went on a dinner date with the director, who later had to flee America on charges of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. Had that not happened, Demi Moore might have made her Hollywood debut earlier than 1981.

In the second part, the actress talks about her success in Hollywood and how she came across movies that went onto define the decade. She discusses her escape from the dysfunctional place called home to the bright world of success. Even these happy times were filled with shocking incidents such as leaving her own bachelorette party a one-night stand and sleeping with a roommate while being married. These incidents were not known to the general public. In the book she thanks director Joel Schumacher for rescuing her, putting her in rehab, and overseeing that she doesn’t throw away a career in the movies. Had he not, she might not have been able to do much work besides debuting in General Hospital.

It was during this time that Bruce Willis entered her life, made her feel special, and rescued her when her mother and her agent blackmailed her with some objectionable pictures. Although he did tell her a few years into the marriage that ‘it might not work’, she discloses that she did her best to keep the union intact for as long as she could. She reveals the reason behind cutting her hair for Ghost, a move that nearly cost her the lead role in the movie. She also auditioned for Top Gun and could have been Tom Cruise’s co-star long before A Few Good Men. You will also get to know that her Indecent Proposal co-star Woody Harrelson was like a brother to her and that she rates G I Jane as mentally, physically, and emotionally the hardest film of her career.

The third part of the book is about Demi’s life after finding success in Hollywood. She talks about patching things up with her mother, her separation with Bruce Willis and the truth about Ashton. You will read about her miscarriage, how she felt the first time he lied to her, why she finally left him and how she reacted when her daughter Tallulah Willis was busted and Demi was portrayed as the villain. And then there is Chapter 22, where she seeks answers to the question, ‘How did I get here?’. This chapter tells you a lot about her life away from the camera and what it took to reconcile with her kids, her ex-husbands and above all, her own self as she was en route to self-destruction.

In great and what appears to be honest detail, Demi Moore talks about the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood and followed her to Hollywood. Add to that her battle with addiction, body image issues and a late comeback to name a few and you have an actress who couldn’t handle her career because she had too much on her plate. Consider this memoir her defense.


Omair Alavi is a freelance broadcast journalist who can be contacted at   [email protected]

The life and times of Demi Moore