EP 29: Brian Grazer on working with Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, White Lotus, Apollo 13, , breaking into Hollywood as an outsider and more (w/ transcript)
“Making a movie is a startup”
This week’s episode features the incredible Brian Grazer, award-winning producer known for A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, 8 Mile, Splash, Genius, Arrested Development, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week just to name a few.
We cover: how Brian broke into Hollywood as an outsider, how to have the perfect conversation and pitch your ideas, how to deal with gatekeepers, Apollo 13, Thirteen Lives, A Beautiful Mind working with Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, meeting Fidel Castro, building a personal brand and more. We also had a fun sideways discussion on White Lotus and other recent movies and TV shows we liked.
At the very bottom of this post, we also have the transcript of the conversation as well)
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Where to find Brian Grazer:
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/briangrazer/
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• Aarthi and Sriram’s Good Time Show: Youtube, Substack, Twitter
• Aarthi Ramamurthy: Twitter, Instagram
• Sriram Krishnan: Twitter, Instagram, Blog
“I asked myself this rhetorical question, what did I learn at USC, and quickly answered nothing.”
“I just think that everything is like dating. Businesses are like dating, meeting is like dating. Everything is dating. You have to invent stories. You just have to come up with stuff. I was a good dater.”
“My goal is to make my curiosity conversation the best date that Isaac Asimov or Edward Teller could ever have.”
“ Everything is a startup; making a movie is a startup, making a TV show, meeting a new person where there's no overlapping agenda is a startup.”
“Jay-Z is an amazing person that you want to be on your toes because he's relaxed in manner, but he's sharp as you could possibly be.”
“Any movie that's successful, the character almost always has power.”
"The world wants to save Tom Hanks the most."
“I’m good at inventing and industrializing movie ideas.”
“Hollywood is built on iconography.”
“Because of a curiosity conversation with Verónica De Negri who was tortured in Chile, I asked her, ‘How did you survive this torture?’ She said, ‘By living in an alternate reality.’ That was a flashpoint for me.” - on making The Beautiful Mind
What is dyslexia?
A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman
Peter Knecht, Criminal Defence Lawyer, LA
Warren Beatty; Director, Producer, Actor
Amadeus, period biographical film on Mozart
Made in America, documentary on music festival by Jay-Z
Apollo 13, 1995 American space docudrama film
Thirteen Lives, 2022 film based on the Tham Luang cave rescue
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer on Invest Like the Best Podcast
Brian Grazer on Joe Rogan’s Podcast
Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary political leader
Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese on Marvel movie actors
A Beautiful Mind, movie on Nobel Laureate John Nash
Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
In this episode, we cover:
[00:00] Experience with dyslexia
[02:30] Brian’s introduction to Hollywood
[10:56] How to have a great conversation with anybody
[13:40] How to deal with gatekeepers
[18:04] The perfect first conversation
[22:10] Does curiosity lead to success?
[26:53] Apollo 13 and Thirteen Lives
[29:15] Working with Ron Howard
[32:55] Pitching movie ideas
[36:28] White Lotus
[39:01] Working with Tom Hanks
[42:25] Meeting Fidel Castro
[45:25] Building a personal brand
[48:55] Are Marvel actors real movie stars?
[51:09] On making ‘A Beautiful Mind’
[54:38] Final thoughts